The Artist & Educator Pushing the Boundaries of VR
The work of Matthew Niederhauser pushes the limits of emerging AI and XR technologies within a wide range of mediums. His projects have premiered at Sundance, Tribeca, Venice and IDFA DocLab. As the co-founder and creative director of Sensorium, an experiential studio working at the forefront of immersive storytelling, he and his team collaborate with a wide variety of partners from Google, Samsung and Apple to MoMa, The New York Times and MIT Media Lab. Sensorium draws from a diverse background of influences, including journalism, cinema, theater and game design — engaging audiences across physical and digital spaces. Most recently, Matthew became the Technical Director at Onassis ONX Studio in New York while also teaching courses at NYU Tisch and Tanden on immersive storytelling and virtual production.
Hamlet 360: Thy Father’s Spirit brings Shakespeare’s most renowned tragedy to vivid 3D life, casting the viewer as the ghost of Hamlet’s father. The 60-minute, 360-degree adaptation, which can be watched using a VR headset or a desktop or mobile device, lets you look on as Gertrude puts on makeup in her bedroom or Laertes practices with his sword. You’ll even see your own reflection in the mirror, appearing haggard, bloody and, well, dead. In 2020, Sensorium collaborated on Metamorphic, a social VR experience where the participant’s body becomes a vehicle for expression within majestically drawn worlds. The studio is also known for their companion VR experience to George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo (directed by Graham Sack), where the viewer is placed in a graveyard as ghosts approach from all angles. Most recently, Matthew collaborated with director Marc Da Costa on Tulpamancer, a VR installation that invites participants to sit at a computer terminal in a forgotten warehouse and answer a series of questions about their lives. They are then taken on a journey, propelled by machine learning AI, that invokes and questions their memories and potential future. Each experience produces a unique work that is deleted at the end of the interaction.