Open Call

Medrar for contemporary art

21 March 2022 - 28 April 2022


Lab duration: 3 days a week from 21 March to 28 April 2022

Lab days: Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Lab times: 11 am to 4 pm 

Exhibition opening on Sunday, 8th of May 

Location: Medrar

Medrar for Contemporary Art is thrilled to announce the first project of its newly launched MedRX umbrella project,  which houses an array of activities opening realms beyond our current reality.* 

Viorama is a Virtual reality (VR) Lab and Exhibition aimed for artists to explore through lectures and hands-on activities the potential of VR audiovisual tools in relation to their arts practises, reflect on concepts of VR and new formats of narration, and prototype and implement VR-based projects to be showcased in an immersive exhibition. The (VR) Viorama Lab is led by Dutch instructor Daniel Ernst with the contribution of guest speakers Morehshin Allahyar, Jesse Cummings and George Zakaria, alongside the technical support of 412labs.

Dioramas have a longstanding tradition in museums, where they depict all kinds of spectacular and often impossible scenes. If you visit the museum a week from now, that exact same moment of the diorama will be there for you to visit. The gazelle would still be eaten by the lion and the dinosaur is still sinking into a tarpit. They are moments stuck in time like a mosquito caught in ember.

The most important aspect of Virtual Reality is presence. Presence in this sense encompasses both the physical and mental occupation of a virtual space. The more presence a VR experience provides, the more a player can disconnect himself from the real world to accept the virtual actuality as a new reality. But this takes time. Time that dioramas have plenty of.

Unlike “real” dioramas, VR dioramas allow you to step past the restrictive glass and into the scene. You can experience the emotion that is depicted, without experiencing the pressure of a linear story that is barreling to its conclusion. You are there and you have all the time in this world to cross into this new reality. The only thing you have to do is be somewhere else.

In 6 weeks the participants of this Lab will get the chance to work on their dioramas based on a distinct and personal moment. During this Lab the participants will be handed tools and techniques to create a finished VR diorama from the early inception of an idea to a fully working interactive VR experience. The topics discussed are : thumbnailing, greyboxing, interaction design, audio and music and narrative design.

The Lab will include from 6 to 8 participants who will work on conceptualising, prototyping, developing, implementing and finalising artistic projects using VR technologies and related softwares and programs. A dedicated technical team from 412 Labs will work closely with the participants and give support throughout the Lab. The participants will be provided with fees for the production of their works. In order to support participants’ full commitment, the artists participants will receive participation fees upon completion of their projects within the planned deadline. 

The selected works will be exhibited in Medrar starting from May 8, 2022. 


  • The call is open to artists from different disciplines willing to experiment and integrate their artistic practice with Virtual Reality (VR) technologies, game engines and modelling softwares to create VR artworks.  
  • A minimum experience/familiarity with 3D modelling  is required
  • A minimum experience/familiarity with Unity is a plus 
  •  A dedicated technical team from 412labs will work closely with the participants and provide technical support throughout the Lab. During the first week, the participants will be introduced to Unity and during the second week will take part in hands-on exercises on Unity.
  • The Lab will be held in English. Thus a good level of spoken and written English is required
  • Participants must have their own computers and the ability to run the required programs
  • To apply, the applicants are required to fill in the application form with all the required material and information. Applications missing any required information will not be considered 
  • The applicants are required to submit a simple concept for a project relevant to the Lab content and bridging between the arts and new technologies 
  • Applicants can support their application with previous designs and works relevant to the application proposal 
  • The selection criteria of participants is based on originality and feasibility of the proposals within the duration of the Lab and proven understanding of how the proposed projects can make use of available technologies to create artworks. 
  • The Lab will encourage artists to work together in groups. Yet, the participants have the option to work individually 
  • The production of the artworks throughout the Lab will be fully covered 
  • The participants have to commit to work on the concept  development, prototyping, and implementation of the project and take part in all the Lab activities. 
  • Upon completion of their projects within the set deadlines, the participants will be provided with a participation fee. 
  •  Participants are required to wear their masks throughout the Lab and to maintain safe distance. 
  • The participants have the possibility to work on their projects during Medrar’s opening times also outside of Lab hours 

To apply, fill in this form:

Only applicants whose proposals are selected to participate in the Lab will be notified via email, no later than Monday, 17 March 

Find some useful links on the programs and softwares to be used during the Lab: : 3D modelling software. : 3D Sculpting software : Game Engine

About the instructor

The VIORAMA Lab and Exhibition is organized by Medrar for Contemporary Art with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands and Culture Resource, in partnership with the Creative School Cairo and 412 Labs.

*Medrar announces this program within the framework of MedRX, its newly launched umbrella project consisting of a series of activities (workshops, labs, exhibitions, screenings, meet-up sessions etc. ) aiming at building a community of artists from different disciplines interested in developing their arts practices through the exploration and integration of available XR technologies. To know more: