RE-ANIMATED  (2018-2019) is a video and VR installation by Jakob Kudsk Steensen.   The work is comprised of a 15 minute VR and 3 videos.   RE-ANIMATED , 2018, VR, 15 minutes. Inquire for preview video.  Arrival , 2018, 4K video, 10 min 30 sec.    Video link   .  Mating Call , 2018, 4K video, 3 min 25 sec.    Video link   .  Bug Zapper , 2018, 4K video, 5min 45 sec.    Video link   .     RE-ANIMATED  press release:  Text by Curator Toke Lykkeberg for  RE-ANIMATED , a solo exhibition by Jakob Kudsk Steensen at Tranen Contemporary Art Center, November 9, 2018 - February 14, 2019.   RE-ANIMATED  is based on the last Kaua’i ʻōʻō bird that died in 1987, marking the extinction of its species. In 2009, its mating call - first recorded in 1975 and later digitized in an ornithology lab in New York – was uploaded to YouTube. Since then, the song of the Kaua’i ʻōʻō calling in vain to a mate who was no longer there has been played more than half a million times.  RE-ANIMATED  is a response to this mating call. It is a magnificent reanimation of the bird and its song, inhabiting a distorted digital reconstruction of the Kaua’i ʻōʻō’s original habitat on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i.   RE-ANIMATED  is a video and VR work that meditates on our paradoxical techno-scientific trajectory. As a digital gardener, the artist has collected and planted a myriad of flora and fauna, which he, by the use of algorithms, has programmed to colonize the island. The virtual landscape is equally an entrancing ecosystem filled with water, light, plants, birds, fish, and insects, and a biotechnological laboratory for a resurrected, monstrously-scaled bird. Kudsk Steensen’s virtual island also echoes computer simulation models that climate scientists use to predict future climate scenarios for life on earth.   RE-ANIMATED  is the result of extensive field work to collect and 3D-scan flora and fauna, alongside a number of collaborations. The American Museum of Natural History granted the artist access to its restricted archives, which are unavailable to the public. There, Kudsk Steensen handled and photographed preserved Kaua’i ʻōʻō birds collected in the late 1800s. The artist interviewed Ornithologist Douglas H. Pratt about his memories of the Kaua’iʻōʻō, as well as his perspective on painting the bird and documenting its existence in light of its extinction. Parts of these interviews serve as audio in the experience.   RE-ANIMATED ’s virtual world comes to life with interactive audio that includes algorithmic music composed by Michael Riesman, Musical Director for the Philip Glass Ensemble, as well as environmental audio effects that connect to the digital landscape. Plants, moss, and insects respond to the pulse of music generated in real-time, and the audience’s breath and voice organically impact the virtual atmosphere through a microphone in the VR headset. As a result, the VR experience is unique for every user.   RE-ANIMATED  ultimately investigates how we relate to nature irrevocably altered by human activity. As a slow-moving, poetic virtual environment, the artwork exists as both dream and nightmare. It provokes fresh perspectives on our ecological future, which may become unbound by the physical conditions governing our present reality.    RE-ANIMATED   is made with support from The Danish Arts Foundation, Bikuben Foundation, Harvestworks, Mana Contemporary and Artist Alliance    RE-ANIMATED  credits   Artist, producer and main developer: Jakob Kudsk Steensen Composer and Music Director: Michael Riesman Co-producer: Toke Lykkeberg Nielsen and Tranen Contemporary Art Center Music technical director and audio programmer: Jerry Smith Character optimization: Jeremy Thompson, 2Nstudio Programming assistance and audio interactivity: Todd Bryant, 2Nstudio Narration: Michael Silberblatt Interview and research consultant: Douglas H. Pratt Bird song visualization: Andy Thomas Research assistant: Jazia Hammoudi Special thanks to the The American Museum of Natural History, NYC for grating access to the Ornithology Archive, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Macaulay Library.
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