Oasis immersion’s second exhibition is a simultaneously soothing yet exhilarating immersive journey of the senses
RECHARGER/Unwind, the Oasis immersive studio’s second ever exhibition, features 10 presentations from both local and international artists that are centered around three themes: relaxation, stimulation, and reconnection.
“We really wanted to create something that uplifts somehow,” said Johnny Ranger, co-creative director at OASIS Immersion. “I think that it has a really good balance between some pieces that are strange, mysterious, and uplifting,” he added. This balance was achieved by having each room in the exhibition embody one of the three themes. In each room, various artistic presentations were projected all over the walls and sometimes even the floor.
When guests initially enter the exhibit, ethereal music transports them to a world of relaxation. The first room features three presentations that encourage visitors to unwind. First, visitors will experience Core, a cascading dance of light and sound. Then, they are treated to Migration, a moving piece of art that invites visitors into a constantly reassembling world. Multicoloured fields break apart and reform into ever-shifting purple waves.
Migration was created by Quebecois artist Ruban Mauve. “I just wanted it to be this thing that just brings you with [it] and you don’t know where it’s gonna get you, but you’re just onboard and you just enjoy the experience of travelling with this,” explained Mauve.
Next, rotating plant ecosystems spring to life. This is Floralia, a speculative future where samples of extinct plant species are preserved and displayed in a virtual archive room. Crackling sounds add a dramatic flair and unsettling ambience to the piece.
After this journey to a virtual archive, visitors step into the second room focused on stimulation. Energizing lights and sounds create a gripping and inspiring experience by stimulating the senses.
The room’s invigorating lights and sounds worked wonders for Abdullah Icuyz, a visitor who was engrossed in the experience. “[I] pretty much liked the three [rooms], but my favourite one was the second one,” said Icyuz.
Icyuz was particularly inspired by Horizon, a piece by French artist Alex Le Guillou. This piece explored the way we perceive dreams and reality. Light particles intermingle to form abstract shapes inspired by the sky and seas, including pinkish shapes resembling star systems.
This second room along with Horizon’s two other presentations, Frozen Music and Journey, are also featured. The former shows frozen structures that shift and change over time. A serpentine structure made of fine white light slowly travels along the room’s four walls, then suddenly visitors hear a ding among the airy music, and the whole structure transforms, revealing a new serpentine form. As the number of dings increases so does the music and the shape’s speed, creating a feeling of escalation among guests.
Journey, the final presentation in the second room, presents some of the most memorable visuals of the exhibition. Towards the end of the presentation, a train of light spreads on the walls speeding from one wall towards the next, as a little girl runs towards it, hoping to catch the train.
After this impressive demonstration, guests visit the reconnection room, the final stage of the exhibition. This room offers four presentations and aims to reconnect visitors with themselves, nature, and social interaction.
The first presentation, New Land by Alex Le Guillou, presents beautiful scenes of nature while upbeat music plays in the background. White arctic forests and lush green boreal forests meld together to create a stunning intricate landscape.
The second piece, Recursive Reflections, plunges the audience into an alien world. Green tones of membrane-like figments resembling cell membranes and strains of green flesh-like figments are appear over the walls. Eventually, among gaps between the different membranes, a world seems to be revealed. The world then transforms into a variety of geometric patterns.
During the third presentation, Flow, shapes of shifting color resembling clouds float about as celestial music accompanies the piece. The clouds later expand, turning into granular waves of lights.
The final presentation, The Quiet Pond, delves into primal instincts such as anxiety and fear. Among the purple vegetation on the pond’s shore, yellow eyes appear, creating a disconcerting feeling. Occasional flashes of light and a strange child-like voice saying “hello” add to the unease of this presentation. Eventually, the eyes become bubbles of light and shift upwards as the dense vegetation transforms into a whimsical yellow and orange foliage. Later, the room is entirely underwater. Bodies fall within the water, renewing a sense of anxiety.
Despite their different styles and subjects, all the presentations have something in common. They are all generative art pieces. Generative art is art created with the use of computer coding and programming. “The whole exhibit is about using generative to feel better,” explained Mauve. “Generative process in general is this task of putting on rules and setting out barriers for the content to evolve with.”
“It is really a different type of animation, it creates variety in the way it’s building animation,” added Ranger.
In order to get the full experience, Ranger recommends multiple visits. “And some of the people I know that came to see this exhibition want to come back again to live it because it’s not something that once you see it you know. No, it’s an experience and if you come back in a month or a month and a half, it will be a different experience.”
The exhibition will run until the end of January and is open from Wednesday to Sunday.
Photo courtesy Margaret Wdowiak