At Cuchifritos Gallery, Steensen will exhibit his virtual organism, the Pando Endo, a real-time computer simulation. “Pando” (Latin for “I spread”), borrowed from the name of the clonal colony of aspen trees, and “endo” referring to infrastructure. Pando Endo was developed from phone photographs of aspen tree bark, moss, and roots of a clonal colony of aspen trees in the mountains of New Mexico. These photographs were converted into digital textures and programmed to morph together with a procedural system that functions as a root system.
Four drones, fitted with spotlights, circulate the virtually simulated organism, examining it, zooming in on its movements. The organism has been tasked with breaching virtual glass cabinets and taught to gauge and mobilize towards light sources. Textures crawl across its surface area and liquids trickle along its tentacles like clustered organic entities. Based on this programming, the root system has found its own navigation. It resists stationery exhibition to spread and traverse the vast emptiness in the empty warehouse and exhibition space.
Jakob Kudsk Steensen is a Danish artist and art director based in New York, specialized in VR and real-time virtual simulations of ecosystems. Through his practice, Steensen is concerned with how imagination, technology and ecology intertwine by developing futuristic virtual simulations of existing real-world landscapes. His work is at the forefront of real-time rendered virtual environments, and he develops projects through collaborations with technology and natural science institutions.