Kenji Williams is an award winning director, composer, and violinist working in immersive live theater, XR mixed reality, and interactive data visualization.
Kenji explores the nexus of art, technology, and transformation through immersive platforms such as IMAX, fulldome, holograms, and XR, while using his unique storytelling methods to turn traditional theaters and spaces into immersive portals.
He is the creative director and producer of BELLA GAIA, an immersive experience interweaving NASA imagery from the International Space Station, orbital views of Earth, and live music and dance from around the world to simulate the Overview Effect from space flight. BELLA GAIA has toured internationally, presented hundreds of shows, and has Fulldome movies presenting at planetariums around the world. BELLA GAIA has garnered media exposure from the Washington Post, Village Voice, BBC, NPR, PBS, Huffington Post and USA Today.
Funded by NASA, BELLA GAIA is seen as a pivotal tool for consciousness shift, in its ability to transform complex scientific data into an accessible audio-visual experience to expand public understanding of global challenges we face. Scientific research suggests that our neurochemistry opens the door to cognitive learning through emotional and right-brain engagement, and without creating this deeper, memorable experience, the human brain does not learn. Crafted by the neuroscience-driven methodology of Kenji Williams, the “transcendental” and “Stunning” effect of BELLA GAIA (Scientific American) has proven to generate the elusive but critical emotional response: A Reason to Care.
Kenji designed the world’s first Augmented Reality Earth Ceremony in collaboration with NASA’s IceSat II satellite launch and Hologlobe, with a live audience. The NASA sponsored live multimedia art and science program “Beautiful Earth” featured a performance of BELLA GAIA, remarks by Project Scientist Thorsten Markus, and a first of its kind “hold the Earth” augmented reality experience.
Kenji’s unique vision translates into collaborations with orbiting astronauts aboard the International Space Station, Sylvia Earle, Deepak Chopra, Ken Wilber, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Paul Miller, and others.
Kenji is a Grammy voting member and was named a “100 Top Creative” by Origin Magazine, and a World Technology Network award finalist in Arts, Entertainment, and Education. He runs his own media, arts, and consulting company Remedy Arts LLC, is CEO of BELLA GAIA Inc., and is President of the Beautiful Earth Foundation, which combines science and art to creates event portals for students and the general public.
He has received awards from the Sundance Film Festival, the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, the Lumen Prize, Science Media Awards, Best Soundtrack Composition at Macau International Fulldome Film Festival, and People’s Choice Award from Fiske Fulldome Film Festival.
Kenji is an artist in residence at the Movement Lab at Columbia University, and developed a live 3D Holographic theater show as Artist in Residence and Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Williams has performed and spoken at TEDx, NASA, Columbia University, Aspen Institute, Smithsonian, Guggenheim Museum, Strathmore, Marin Civic Center, Winspear Opera House, Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium, UNESCO, and the U.S. Department of State.