Speakers 2021

We have been able to win renowned artists and VR experts from all over the world as speakers for our panels,
VRHAM! FORWARD Talks and for the REAL-IN Convention:

Alexandra Antwi-Boasiako  is a creative industries enthusiast from Hamburg. With a degree in Communication & Cultural Management and an MA in Creative & Media Enterprises she has set a strong foundation to explore the world of creativity. Alexandra is a passionate & curious communicator that builds bridges between artistic visions and the audience.

Christopher Bauder  is the creative director of the design studio Whitevoid, which he founded immediately after finishing his studies at Berlin University of the Arts. He works worldwide as a light and media artist and is also the founder and managing director of the innovative lighting technology manufacturer Kinetic Lights.  Bauder is best known for his large scale spacial light art installations.

Kiira Benzing is a multimedia director, founder of Double Eye Studios based in New York. She is a director crossing the mediums of theater, hybrid cinema and virtual reality and currently working with live actors performing in social VR with the open software platform High Fidelity and she writes for the Medium blog “Alive in Plasticland”. Her most recent project Runnin, is an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival 2019.


Serial entrepreneur and innovation Guru, Antoine Cardon has served in many industries: advertising & communication, digital, television & cinema and architecture & simulation. He started working with virtual reality 20 years ago as a simulation expert and founding member of the VRML community.

Toby Coffey established the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio in 2016. The Studio has had its portfolio of projects shown at the Venice, Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, National Theatre, The Young Vic, MoMA and TATE Modern. The Studio’s work ranges from VR music videos, immersive exhibtions and VR performances with interactions between the audience and live performer. At VRHAM!, Toby has been mentor for the VR project Inhibition by Zoe Diakaki and Marina Mersiadou.

Mat Collishaw  is a key figure in the generation of British artists who emerged from Goldsmiths’ College in the late 1980s. His visual language embraces diverse media. The beauty of Collishaw’s work is compelling – seductive, captivating, hypnotic – yet repelling as we perceive the darker fantasies within. Something between beautiful and abject. At VRHAM! 2021 he will present his latest project Bedlam in a keynote.

Zoe Diakaki  is an interactive designer and architect based in London. Her main interests rely on the relationship between immersive experiences and technology in performing arts. Zoe, together with Marina Mersiadou, will present their joint project Inhibition, which they developed together with their mentor Tobey Coffey as part of the VRHAM! FORWARD residencies.

Gustav Gomes  is a brazilian artist, dancer and choreographer based in Cologne, Germany. As a visual artist he is exposing photographic work, installation and video art in a number of galleries. At VRHAM! Gustavo will present his current project Votary, which he has continued developing at Institut für theatrale Zukunfstforschung (ITZ) at Tübingen together with his mentor Richard Siegal as part of the VRHAM! FORWARD residencies.

Ali Hossaini’s expertise spans art, science and engineering. A commitment to preserving life, and to celebrating life’s diversity, motivates his interdisciplinary work. He is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in Engineering at King’s College London. He is also a Fellow of the National Gallery, co-director of National Gallery X and a trustee of the Young Vic theatre. Since 2018 he has been working with security think tank RUSI on the safety of AI.

Carole Kremer is the Head of Office at the Creative Europe MEDIA Desk Luxembourg. She holds a BA in English Literature and Linguistics and an MA in Conference Interpreting. She joined the Luxembourg Creative Europe Desk in 2014, and has since been the contact person for the programme’s MEDIA strand in Luxembourg. She also works at Film Fund Luxembourg, where she manages the public body’s various XR events and initiatives.

Tupac Martir is an Artist and Founder of Satore Studio in London. He’s a multimedia artist whose work spans the fields of technology, lighting, projection and video, sound design, music, and composition, as well as choreography and costumes. Vogue has described him as “the visual designer and creative director behind some of the most important events in the world”.

Robin McNicholas is Co-founder and Director of the award-winning creative studio Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) in London and has directed a myriad of immersive experiences, large-scale installations and live performances. Exploring new sensory perspectives that challenge our relationship to the world around us plays a key role in Robin and the team at MLF’s work.

Annette Mees is an award-winning artist and immersive theatre director and currently the Head of The Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House. She is working on the cross-over of live and digital and interested in the artistic possibilities of immersive technologies. Annette explores the future of culture, artistic innovation, creative R&D and models of art that allow dialogue with new audiences.

Marina Mesiadou studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and also worked as an architect in an Athens based architectural practice. Marina is interested in exploring ways of integrating new technologies into performance and theatrical space. Marina, together with Zoe Diakaki, will present their joint project Inhibition, which they developed together with their mentor Tobey Coffey as part of the VRHAM! FORWARD residencies.

Ilja Mirsky is dramaturg at the Institut für theatrale Zukunftsforschung (ITZ) in Tübingen and PhD candidate at the University of Tuebingen and Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Ilja is lecturer on artificial intelligence, theater and digital dramaturgy with  a strong focus on VR/AR, AI and performance Art.

Christiane Paul is Chief Curator and Director of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center and Professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School, as well as Adjunct Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art. At the Whitney Museum she is also responsible for artport, the museum’s portal to Internet art. She is the recipient of the Thoma Foundation’s 2016 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art and has authored several books on Media Art and New Media.

Co-director at Minky Productions, Julien Planté is an experienced Producer and high caliber Head of Programmes, with a strong track record in commissioning, producing and curating Live Events, TV and online content. Currently working on Bedlam, an Extended Reality theatre experience by Mat Collishaw, that he will introduce in a Keynote.

Based in Marseille, Mathieu Pradat inscribes his practice within the growing interaction between real and virtual worlds, seen as new territories for stories bearing knowledge, sensations and emotions. He explores cinema and various immersive interactive narrative forms. His works (The Roaming, Proxima, The Dog) have been selected and awarded throughout the world. Mathieu Pradat is CEO of La prairie productions. He teaches immersive narrative in various universities.

Tina Sauerlaender is an art historian, curator, speaker and writer about VR in visual arts. She is artistic director of the VR ART PRIZE by DKB in cooperation with CAA Berlin. She is co-founder and director of the independent exhibition platform peer to space, that was founded in 2010. She is co-founder and CEO of Radiance VR, an international online platform for VR experiences in visual arts. She focuses primarily on the impact of the digital and the internet on individual environments and society.

András Siebold was hired as a dramaturge at Theater Basel and subsequently for four years at the State Opera Unter den Linden Berlin. In 2007 he was appointed as head of programming at Kampnagel Hamburg by Artistic Director Amelie Deuflhard. Since 2013 he is Artistic Director of the International Summer Festival Kampnagel, Hamburg.

Richard Siegal  is an American dancer and choreographer. For his pieces, Siegal has cooperated with people from different fields such as architecture, design and composing. In 2016, Siegal founded the touring company Ballet of Difference] together with ecotopia dance productions, missioned with creating new pertinence to ballet in the 21st century.

Fabien Siouffi is Founder of Fabbula, a cultural practice dedicated to the idea of worlding with digital media such as virtual reality, open worlds and livestreams. Fabbula curates groundbreaking exhibitions such as Palais Augmenté (2021, Grand Palais), Les Ailleurs (2021, Gaîté Lyrique) and VR Arles Festival (2018, 2019, Rencontres d’Arles).

Chiaki Soma has produced or curated global projects that transect categories of theater, contemporary art, and community-engaged art. She has been the General Producer of Toyooka Theater Festival 2021, the Curator of Aichi Triennale 2022 and Artistic Director of  Theatre Commons Festival.

Melanie Stein is a journalist, psychologist, producer and presenter covering politics, innovation and science. She is an editor and presenter of the YouTube show Diskuthek, a political talk show addressing young adults. After finishing her “Volontariat” at NDR, she worked for the media magazine Zapp as well as for the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF. Melanie is the founder and CEO of Wir sind der Osten, an initiative giving visibility to progressives citizens from Eastern Germany.

Ulrich Schrauth  is an international curator, creative director and artist working in the field of immersive media. His posts include artistic director for VRHAM! Festival Virtual Reality & Arts Hamburg as well as XR and immersive programmer for the BFI London Film Festival. In addition to that, he oversees many international projects with virtual, augmented and mixed reality, and acts as a speaker, moderator and jury member in this field.

Daniel Strutt is a lecturer in the department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, He and his team have developed a framework for the streaming of motion capture data, permitting dancers to dance together but remotely, and within virtual spaces.

Susanne Thurow is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales’ iCinema Centre, one of Australia’s foremost hubs for applied interactive immersive visualization, and a Chief Investigator on the iDesign research project. Since 2014, she has been co-developing immersive visualisation projects with key collaboration partners.

Julian Weiss is Co-Founder and CEO of the agency headraft, specialist in the conception and production of interactive experiences in virtual and augmented reality. With their know-how and enthusiasm about immersive media he and his team support clients to understand the potentials of extended realities and fully exploit them in campaigns and communication activities. headraft was awarded Rookie Agency of the year 2019 by the Art Directors Club Germany.

From October 2002 to September 2009, Brigitte Zypries was Federal Minister of Justice. From January 2017 to March 2018 she was Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, where, from December 2013 to January 2017, she was also Parliamentary State Secretary, responsible for information technology (IT) and foreign trade. She was the Federal Government Coordinator for Aerospace from January 2014 to March 2018.