The Deep Listener


An augmented reality mobile phone application created in collaboration with Sir David Adjaye OBE and Google Arts & Culture by Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen.


Serpentine Galleries
Kensington Gardens, London UK

12 July 2019 - 2020 ongoing


Jakob Kudsk Steensen, The Deep Listener 2019, AR Visualisation. Serpentine Augmented Architecture in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture and Sir David Adjaye OBE. Image courtesy of the artist. © Jakob Kudsk Steensen 2019-20.

Producer: Alex Boyes/AB Curatorial Design

Artist, Art Director and Developer: Jakob Kudsk Steensen

Technical Director: Ivaylo Getov

Curator & Senior Producer: Kay Watson

Unreal Developer: Troy Duguid

UI & Graphic Designer: Cecilia Serafini

Field Recordist & Sound Designer: Matt McCorkle

Audio Supervision: Reese Donohue

Audio Developer: Emre Tanirgan

Curators: Eva Jäger, Ben Vickers

Content type: Visual Art, Technology

The Deep Listener is an audio-visual ecological expedition through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, the area surrounding the Serpentine Galleries. Designed as an augmented reality and spatial audio work downloadable as an app for mobile devices, it is both a site-specific public artwork and a digital archive of species that live within the park. Representing Serpentine Galleries within a freelance capacity, my role as producer involved working closely with its Research & Development team (including Kudsk Steensen), whilst interfacing with external stakeholders Google Arts & Culture, and Sir David Adjaye studio. 


Jakob Kudsk Steensen, The Deep Listener 2019, AR Visualisation. Serpentine Augmented Architecture in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture and Sir David Adjaye OBE. Images courtesy of Serpentine Galleries. © Jakob Kudsk Steensen 2019-20.


The Deep Listener was selected from over 350 applications to a global open call for creative practitioners to imagine new city spaces and speculative scenarios for the built environment using augmented reality (AR) at the Serpentine Galleries in Kensington Gardens. AR is a technology that has the potential to radically challenge our understanding of how cities might function in the future, by creating a highly visible interface between the physical and digital infrastructures that surround us.
The commission expands upon Kudsk Steensen’s practice of merging the organic, ecological and technological in the building of complex worlds in order to tell stories about our current environmental reality. Using tools and platforms from a range of fields including video games, computer-generated images and film and inspired by ecological science-fiction and scientific research, Kudsk Steensen creates a form of ‘slow media’ that uses the technological to foster attention rather than distraction.



Jakob Kudsk Steensen, The Deep Listener 2019, AR Visualisation. Serpentine Augmented Architecture in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture and Sir David Adjaye OBE. Images courtesy of the artist and Serpentine Galleries. © Jakob Kudsk Steensen 2019-20.


As you move through the augmented reality encounters of the commission, these soundscapes can be sped up and slowed down according to your proximity to the ecological visualisations, in order to reveal the complexity and nuances of non-verbal aural languages and shift your own relationship to time. Through these interactions your own body becomes the mechanism to alter the environment around you, and the technology becomes an active form of communication.
Through The Deep Listener, Kudsk Steensen builds an experience for users to explore the sublime and vexing power of our ecosystem. The park becomes, as it has throughout history, the architectural backdrop to access the natural world that exists within the city.

Serpentine Augmented Architecture was in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture and Sir David Adjaye OBE.


Jakob Kudsk Steensen, The Deep Listener 2019, AR Visualisation. Serpentine Augmented Architecture in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture and Sir David Adjaye OBE. Image courtesy of the artist.© Jakob Kudsk Steensen 2019-20.


© AB Curatorial Design 2020 — London, United Kingdom