A Cartography of Fantasia


Jakob Steensen

A Cartography of Fantasia, 2015

A Cartography of Fantasia is a 2-screen video installation that examines relationships between imagination, financial speculation, and the technologies our human species use to transform the ecology of this planet.

In the work, a satellite is trying to make sense of a living environment that thrives in the aftermath of mankind. An alien like satellite guides you through the plant and animal species living at a post-apocalyptic and futuristic desert region, filled with abandoned tourist infrastructures such as airports and golf resorts. The installation consists of two synchronized screens and a map. The map shows the locations of the five different tourist resorts included in the video. One screen shows footage recorded on location at the abandoned tourist resorts and airports. In a few shots, this screen summarizes what each location feels like, and how they are constructed as artificial oases in the middle of deserts. The other screen documents the exact whereabouts of the two cameras used to film the work, by displaying their GPS coordinates in real time. In the lower left corner of the screen, a map displays the location of the camera from a satellite perspective. By combining documentary ways of filming with digital animations and Google satellite recordings, the work explores how technology has influenced how we perceive and look at nature. The work contrasts what humans imagined creating in a desert, with the unexpected landscape that has evolved from human financial speculation.

A Cartography of Fantasia was filmed during a two month residency at the art center AADK [Arkitektur der Aktuelle Kultur] in Murcia, Spain. During the filming period, I would sleep overnight at the abandoned tourist resorts (built between 2007-2011), to become fully immersed in the surroundings. The work has been supported by the Danish Arts Council.


A_Cartography_of_Fantasia_Jakob_Kudsk_Steensen_1 A_Cartography_of_Fantasia_Jakob_Kudsk_Steensen_2 A_Cartography_of_Fantasia_Jakob_Kudsk_Steensen_3 A_Cartography_of_Fantasia_Jakob_Kudsk_Steensen_4 A_Cartography_of_Fantasia_Jakob_Kudsk_Steensen_5 A_Cartography_of_Fantasia_Jakob_Kudsk_Steensen_6 A_Cartography_of_Fantasia_Jakob_Kudsk_Steensen_7 A_Cartography_of_Fantasia_Jakob_Kudsk_Steensen_8



Jakob Steensen