“My most recent projects combine the use of virtual tools, virtual entities and Artificial Intelligence, to reflect on some unique characteristics of our human experience. Human messiness is a passion – I’ve worked with different media in the past, from films, to animation, mostly focusing on human-centered experiences and reality (non-fiction, documentary approaches, etc). As I’ve expanded with immersive and interactive tools (VR, AR, or AI), I’m excited about the ways we can explore more of the strange balance we create between our human lives – messy, quirky, the drama, the ethereal, magical imagination – and the fact that we are inevitably tethered to physical bodies in physical spaces.

With recent projects using AI, for instance: Chomsky vs Chomsky (Sundance 2021 and launch 2022) or Future Rites (Creative XR, London Philharmonia, IDFA DocLab Forum, SXSW 2022), I want to explore how algorithmic tools, physical body movement and human creativity can meet at a crucial junction, to create compelling virtual worlds and characters that invite interaction, discovery, dance and play. After all, we’re stuck between technology and hand-crafted storytelling: and I always believe it is the human imagination that remains at the core of any type of immersion.”

Sandra Rodriguez, Ph.D., is a creative director and producer (interactive, VR, XR, AI) and a sociologist of new media technology. Her work as creative director and producer have garnered multiple awards, including a Peabody (2016), best immersive experience (IDFA DocLab 2016; Leipzig DokNeuland 2018, Numix 2018), best storytelling (UNVR and World Economic Forum tour 2018), and the first Golden Nica award given to a VR project at Ars Electronica (2019). Her recent work spans from immersive dance performance, multi-user XR theater and large scale installation, exploring the sparks that fly at the crossroads of AI, VR, and human creativity. Rodriguez is also a lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2017, where she leads the course HackingXR, MIT’s first course on immersive media production.