The famous Nativity ensemble in St. Mary’s Cathedral has always been a highlight of Advent in Linz. Restaged as an interactive and audiovisual 3D Christmas experience, this year the entire Nativity scene shines in perfect splendor for the first time in virtual reality – not only in the crypt of Linz Cathedral, but also in Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center. With the completion of the elaborate restoration and digitization work and the restaging of the Virtual Nativity Scene, the Ars Electronica Futurelab once again captures the spirit of our times. The more than one-hundred-year-old Nativity scene by the Munich-based sculptor Sebastian Osterrieder is now to inspire visitors from all over the world in all its glory through unprecedented 360° insights into its cultural and historical heritage.
With the help of the non-intrusive process of photogrammetry, the entire ensemble as well as the crib architecture and the landscape were digitally preserved in all their delicate details. As an immersive Advent program, the nativity scene is intended to conjure up pre-Christmas tranquility in the hearts of visitors. The virtual restaging of the Christmas story follows a theological dramaturgy that ensures a rich and colorful Christmas season and shows the Nativity scene in different representations around the celebration. Only gradually will the famous characters appear on the virtual stage during the time around Christmas.