Armenia is entering a new era, in which cutting edge technology is meeting modern art and contemporary music. It is an era of collaboration between urban and rural communities, and encompassing international influences within Armenian aesthetics.
The COAF SMART Center is an example of this collaborative and adaptive culture, created with a focus on inclusion, community, and interdisciplinary studies and education. The COAF SMART Center recently hosted a unique art, music, and science festival which featured over 20 internationally recognized artists from Europe.
The Hearing Art, Seeing Sound International Art and Music Festival, or HassFest, was attended by over 300 people. The festival featured a mesmerizing electronic musical performance by guitarist/composer Van Sarkissian and Narek Barseghyan of the popular band Bambir.
The walls and windows of the COAF SMART Center showcased installments by video artists Folded visuals, Fur the Burds and Viiksimasteri. Their animated displays were synced to the sounds of the live music playing throughout the center to create a spectacular show.
Another festival highlight was electronic music being fired up on the dance floor by “Kordz.” The diverse crowd of various ages, genders and regions came experienced an amazing event celebrating modern music and art.
Participating artists stayed at the COAF SMART Center for a few days after the festival, holding seminars, workshops and open-air trainings for students.
“What we liked the most was their curiosity and interest in what we do. It was motivating to see them very inspired by our work. There was a student who wanted to help us with preparations. He was learning on the spot and his passion made us emotional. The kids in the rural communities have a lot of potential and that’s what matters,” noted David Baronian of Fur the Burds.
Musician Van Sarkissian also emphasized the importance of bringing rural areas into focus, in an effort to cultivate talent in village communities. “I’m very glad we organized our festival at the COAF SMART Center, since it is a juncture for rural and urban communities,” stated Sarkissian. The young musician added COAF’s SMART initiative is a significant turning point for Armenia in embracing new developments in various spheres.