Volker Kuchelmeister is an expert in presence, embodiment and place representation for immersive applications and has worked extensively in cinematography, interactive narrative, experimental imaging, spatial mapping, interactive systems, immersive visualisation and in the performing arts while exploring and exploding the boundaries of the cinematic image.
He has established and directed leading media-art research labs (ZKM Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe Germany - Multimedia Studio; UNSW iCinema Centre Media Lab and the UNSW National Institute for Experimental Art - Immersive Media Lab, UNSW Felt Experience and Empathy Lab) and his immersive experiences, interactive installations and experimental video projects are exhibited in museums, galleries and festivals around the world. He is currently working as lead immersive designer and research fellow at the UNSW felt Experience and Empathy Lab (feel).
Recent projects include: InSight AR (2020), an Augmented Reality app, developed for the Sculptures by the Sea Bondi 2020 exhibition. EmbodiMap VR (2020), a creative research and therapeutic tool that enables users to engage with and map their feelings and how these are experienced within the body. waumananyi: the song on the wind (2019), developed with acclaimed Uti Kulintjaku collective, formed from the traditional healers and artists or the Anangu people. The project explores mental health and healing from an Aboriginal perspective. The Visit (2019). Interactive Video Installation and Virtual Reality experience developed from a ground-breaking research project conducted by artists and psychologists working with women living with dementia. Parragirls past, Present (2017) a landmark immersive narrative experience employing immersive media and visualisation technologies to produce appropriate subjectivities for painful memory and trauma and to transform the documentary genre to one of an affective experience.; Veloscape (2015) a participatory art research project about cycling in Sydney. An investigation of how the arts can generate environmentally beneficial behavioural change and influence the development of green infrastructure in urban environments; The Virtual (Reality) Museum of Immersive Experiences (2018), an investigation to develop strategies to capture, simulate and reproduce experiences originally designed for large scale immersive architectures within Virtual Reality. Catlin Seaview Survey – Underwater Earth (2014), an immersive visualisation of 360 degree imagery from the Great Barrier Reef in the hemispherical iDome, to rise awareness for the endangered reef in the context of climate change.
Previous appointments include Research Fellow at the UNSW iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research, Researcher at the NIEA National Institute of Experimental Arts, Visiting Research Fellow at ZKM | Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany and Visiting Fellow at the ALiVE - Applied Laboratory For Interactive Visualization Embodiment, City University of Hong Kong. Before moving to Australia Kuchelmeister established the renowned and multi-award winning Multimedia Studio at the ZKM Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Institute for Visual Media, where he worked as Head until 2002. Numerous interactive media projects, museum displays, European Union research project and interactive art publication series which have been produced over the years have earned the ZKM Multimedia Studio an outstanding international reputation.
Kuchelmeister has collaborated as Chief Investigator on multiple Australian Research Council, Australian Council for the Arts and University grants (totaling more then AUD 1.5M), as Senior Research Associate on a number of groundbreaking immersive visualization and artistic projects and as Co-Inventor and joint Intellectual Property holder on the development and implementation of key iCinema technologies and systems such as AVIE Advanced Visualization and Interaction Environment a 360 degree stereoscopic projection environment with motion tracking system and multi-channel spatialised audio engine, iDome hemispherical projection environment and Spherecam 360º video capture system. These platforms form the bases for various immersive applications in the area of data visualisation, virtual heritage, real-time computer generated content, VR training simulations and interactive cinematic experiences. AVIE is deployed across twelve sites in Australia, Europe, United States and Asia and generated $6.5M in commercial sales. In 2009, the systems won a Gold IDEA Award (International Design Excellence Award) in the Interactive Product Experiences category, one of the most prestigious design awards.
He received international recognition through awards, invited presentations and keynotes and exhibitions in museums, galleries and festivals around the world. Amongst others: Centre Pompidou Paris; The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston; ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe; Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualisation and Embodiment, City University Hong Kong; Powerhouse Museum Sydney; Museum Victoria; Back of Bourke Exhibition Centre; Un Volcan numérique II, Volcan Scène nationale du Havre, Le Havre; Matière-Lumière, Complexe EDF, Béthune; Shanghai eArts Festival; Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY.
In the performing arts, Kuchelmeister has collaborated with theatre director Robert Lepage and choreographer/dancer Saburo Teshigawara on large scale multichannel stereoscopic video installations (Fragmentation 2011, Double District 2008, Fig 2,3), with Liz Lecompte and the New York City based experimental theatre company The Wooster Group on a 360º immersive theatre installation (There is still time … brother, 2007), with choreographer William Forsythe on the award winning interactive publication and installation Improvisation Technologies, 1994-2011 and with Japanese traditional theatre performers Mansai and Mansaku Nomura on the award winning DVD publication series Mansaku & Mansai,That's Kyogen (2000).
For more information, visit his personal website