VRS: The Exhibition, a New Way to Experience Music
What better way to disrupt and inspire than art; Cairo booms with it as many young people actively try to bring something new and exciting to the table. Among those who have been doing something truly different for a while is Cocoon Culture Centre. They have just taken it even further with their latest endeavour, VRS: The Exhibition.
VRS (Visually Respond to Sound) is a recurring event thrown by Cocoon, with the first one taking place at the end of 2020. As you can probably tell from its name, VRS is all about expressing the medium of music or sound in a visual format. The event coordinators encourage the participants to get lost in the live music being performed and let it guide them as they put their thoughts and feelings into whatever art medium they choose. The idea itself isn’t new, but bringing it to life, creating this safe space for self-expression and pushing artistic boundaries, is what makes Cocoon a truly transformational place.
Several versions of the event have taken place since the first edition: a couple on the beaches of Sahel and Nubia, and the performances have varied from experimental DJs to more well-known performers like El Waili and Abu Sahar.
Six editions later, Cocoon called out to all artists to submit the pieces they’ve done during any of their VRS events or inspired by any VRS set to be exhibited for sale in their upcoming event VRS: The Exhibition. They also hosted a free workshop incubator for visual artists to come together and create pieces while listening to previous VRS sets, which will be included in the exhibition as well.
The opening for VRS: The Exhibition took place on the 3rd of February and saw huge support from the art community and others. What is really exciting about The Exhibition is the addition of a Blue Room, where participants use VR headsets and stylus to respond to sound visually in a new and innovative way. The experience is experimental, escapist, and initially disorienting. As you get lost in the 3D space offered by the VR, you start using the stylus like a painter’s brush and palette to create pieces you can spatially interact with, all while listening to VRS sets. It’s weird, to say the least. The exhibition itself was delightful, representing a collection of artists across the spectrum between experienced and amateur. Although they all varied in medium and composition, they were curated to perfection by resident artists Dina Jeirdini, Nada Judi, and manager Mariam Shaath. Everything exhibited is on sale and is all very reasonably priced. There is also a corner where you can find some very cool prints and merch on sale. The Exhibition is on until the 20th of February. Cocoon is also hosting a day of fun and games to celebrate their 2nd birthday on the 19th. Free entry!