Primal Tourism

Jakob Kudsk Steensen

  • Medium:VR headset, computer, monitor, media player, clamp lights, wooden beams, white sand
  • Year:2016
  • Duration:VR experience 10' 46", High Resolution video 22' 42"


Primal Tourism (2016) is a virtual reality art project, where tourism, science fiction, technology and speculations on future climates merge with escapism. The core of the project is a full-scale virtual replica of the iconic tourist island Borabora in French Polynesia. The landscape of the Island is both primal and futuristic, as ancient ecosystems are contrasted with future and abandoned tourist resorts. The camera shifts between movement patterns, appearing human, animal and drone-like. The creation of the virtual Island was based on actual satellite data and travel journals, which anonymous people have shared online on the forum Reddit. The Island also contains a series of more narrative locations, based on real tourist photographs. In addition, a key source of inspiration was the logbook of Jacob Roggeveen, who ventured to the region on behalf of the East West Indian Trading company in 1722. In creating the island’s ecosystem, natural scientific illustrations of the region’s future water levels have been combined with native primal species from Bora Bora. VR, climate speculations, tourism and a dream-like alluring form of landscape intertwine in Primal Tourism.

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