AQUAPHOBIA uses VR to connect inner psychological landscapes with exterior eco-systems. The work is inspired by psychological studies of the treatment of aquaphobia – fear of water- as an entry point to transform perceptions of our relationship to future water levels and climates.
AQUAPHOBIA is a full-scale replica of Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier in Redhook, Brooklyn, an area greatly compromised by climate change with hurricanes and rising sea levels. The virtual landscape combines red-clay materials with pre-urban plant species in Brooklyn and futuristic settings. While journeying through the landscape, mud, water, subterranean infrastructures, roots and plants intertwine with one another to form a symbiotic landscape the person visiting the virtual simulation of AQUAPHOBIA experiences.
While travelling through the landscape, an alien morphing aquatic entity follows you around and emit scuba diving sounds and recites a poem, which tell a breakup story between the landscape and its virtual visitor. Ultimately, AQUAPHOBIA uses VR to mixes past and future geological periods, and the work personifies a landscape through a break-up story.
Direction, production, art and sound: Jakob Kudsk Steensen
Text: Jakob Kudsk Steensen
Narration: Rindon Johnson