“I’m standing in the rain, just standing in the rain, without a coat or umbrella, and I’m still bone-dry….”.
Anyway, the London Barbican Arts Center has recently opened this very impressive new installation that allows visitors to walk right into a room simulating a rain storm, and still NOT GET WET. The creators of the oh-so-cleverly titled “Rain Room,” art studio Random International, use a set of 3D cameras to detect the positions of the people within the space, then turns each of its individual rain streams on or off accordingly. The entire exhibit area covers over 1,000 square feet and uses nearly 220 gallons of water per minute, but allows the total supply of water to be quickly filtered and re-circulated through the system.
Random International has quite a history of creating interactive art projects such as “Rain Room. In 2008, they developed a piece called “Audience” that involved utilizing a set of dozens of mirrors which turned to follow visitors as they moved throughout the space. In an interview with the Press Association, artist Stuart Wood describes “Rain Room” as a “social experiment.” He goes on to explain that the group had been known to work with a team of neuroscientists to help interpret the results of their work and study how audiences engage with the art. “Rain Room” will run at the Barbican until March 4th next year (woo-hoo, the day AFTER by 28th birthday), with various other special events involving music and other live performances to take place on November 18th, December 2nd, January 20th, and February 24th.
Just to see this may be worth the cost of a round-trip to the UK, but I like the feel of a poncho and an umbrella. That, and sometimes I enjoy just running out in the rain for the heck of it. Good times.