Rain Room has arrived. The interactive, large-scale installation that simulates the experience of continuous rainfall will open at LACMA this Sunday. Conceived by artists Florian Ortkrass and Hannes Koch, founders of Random International (a multi-media artists collective based in London), Rain Room was first exhibited in 2012 at London's Barbican Centre, then at New York's MOMA in 2013.
Housed within a large gallery space in the BCAM building, the artwork uses sensors to allow visitors to slowly walk through pouring rain without getting wet. "Random International uses science and technology to create artworks that aim to question and challenge human experience within a machine-led world, engaging viewers through explorations of behavior and natural phenomena," according to LACMA.
As visitors will discover, the exhibit is not without restrictions. Only 18-22 people can enter the rain at one time and a gallery visit is limited to 15 minutes. Security guards will strictly monitor the time limit (translate, help move people along when their time is up). Clothes made of dark, shiny, reflective fabric and high heels are discouraged. Advance reservations are required, and all tickets are timed and dated. No doubt LACMA will have better luck than MOMA did in managing the hordes of curious museum-goers who have heard about Rain Room's wonders. In New York, weekend visitors had to wait up to 5 hours in line for their spot in the rainfall. LACMA's ticketing system won't allow that here.
One thing the museum does encourage when visiting the exhibit is using social media, which has played a huge part in spreading Rain Room's buzz. From the visitor guidelines, "Personal photography is allowed and encouraged. Please use #rainroom or tag us @LACMA to share your photos."
Rain Room is on view at LACMA Nov 1, 2015-March 6, 2016.
Above: Artists Florian Ortkrass and Hannes Koch.