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Meow Wolf - immersive sci-fi art experience


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Has anyone here been to a Meow Wolf installation? My boyfriend and I were in Denver last week on vacation, and the highlight (unexpectedly) of the trip was our time at the "Convergence Station" - Meow Wolf's newest and largest installation. We enjoyed it so thoroughly, we spent 7 hours there in slackjawed incredulity, emitting lots and lots of “WOWs” and laughter and “WTFs”. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever had that intense level of childlike wonderment since, well, childhood. Seriously one of the best days I can remember.

 

The Convergence Station is a space station, with a mysterious calamity at its core. You can choose to participate in the storyline of the station, there are kiosks all throughout that cleverly guide you into the story of a catastrophic event called the convergence that tore into 4 separate worlds and brought them together at the station, the event also brought a collective memory loss to their inhabitants, and memories are the currency of the station. You can help recover memories by uncovering the mystery of how it happened, while contributing your own memories. Scattered around the space are a number of actors who play characters from the story. If you speak to them, they can inform you about portions of the storyline from the perspective of an inhabitant. It's not unlike an RPG in a way, but far more immersive than a video game. Alas, we did not get to the bottom of the story. While we did check in at many kiosks, and talked with a few inhabitants to glean info on where we should go next, we were just too enamored of the space and getting lost in the exploration.

 

The space itself is a massive maze-like network of artwork that you move through. There are multitudes of hidden doors and passageways. More than once, we discovered a doorway because someone on the other side had opened it as we were passing by. The word “immersive” is wholly inadequate to describe the sensation of being enveloped by the wildly imaginative and diverse spaces. There is just SO much to marvel at. The level of detail and craftsmanship is just astounding. It’s a rich environment that constantly rewards the curiosity of a closer look in every direction. But as amazing and wonderfully bewildering as the visual presentations are, it’s the SOUND that really binds the experience and completes the feeling of being transported out of normal mental and physical space. As you move from space to space (some massive and some just small rooms) the sounds come from all directions and together build up aural environs to match.

 

Most rooms are in flux, going back to a space you’ve been before reveals an unexpected change in lighting, sound, or movement. Some spaces reward experimentation and interaction. More than one has features (unlabeled, you just have to figure it out) for manipulating the sounds in the room or even to make music. One room features a kind of robotic concert, with a mangled piano mounted to the the wall, a huge curving xylophone suspended from the ceiling, and a set of drums hovering over the room. If you entered between 'sets' you might to even know it was anything more than decoration. But stay long enough and the room comes alive with music. Other rooms had unexpected and not at all obvious interactive elements, some of which require the participation of multiple people to make sense of. I'm certain we missed many such things...all the more reason to go back.

 

I have wanted to visit a Meow Wolf for years, after first hearing about their original Santa Fe spot (which they were able to build in part because George R.R. Martin donated a few million dollars to them). We can't wait to go back, and also to check out the Santa Fe and Las Vegas installations. We're even toying with the idea of a road trip to hit all 3.

 

I took only my phone inside, and while I took a LOT of photos, I'll only post a few here because you can find much better pics elsewhere online. And pictures really are inadequate to convey how amazing the rooms were.

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On the dashboard of this car was a radio-like device with rows of buttons, switches, and flashing lights. After a while messing with it, I realized it was a music instrument with a drum machine, sequencer, synth and effects. If you sat long enough, you could create a primitive track inside the car.

 

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24 minutes ago, rustyjaw said:

Has anyone here been to a Meow Wolf installation? My boyfriend and I were in Denver last week on vacation, and the highlight (unexpectedly) of the trip was our time at the "Convergence Station" - Meow Wolf's newest and largest installation. We enjoyed it so thoroughly, we spent 7 hours there in slackjawed incredulity, emitting lots and lots of “WOWs” and laughter and “WTFs”. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever had that intense level of childlike wonderment since, well, childhood. Seriously one of the best days I can remember.

 

 

I've planned two road trips out to the one in Santa Fe that have been cancelled because of covid or family circumstances. I know it's something me + my daughter would love for exactly everything you say in that paragraph...

 

They're coming to Dallas + Houston next year. Small world fact - their current chairman was in charge of LucasArts when I worked there. 

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11 hours ago, dogbert said:

 

 

I've planned two road trips out to the one in Santa Fe that have been cancelled because of covid or family circumstances. I know it's something me + my daughter would love for exactly everything you say in that paragraph...

 

They're coming to Dallas + Houston next year. Small world fact - their current chairman was in charge of LucasArts when I worked there. 

 

Sorry to hear you and your daughter have been stymied twice getting to the Santa Fe MW. Hopefully you can go soon. It does seem like a perfect place to enjoy with kids. 

 

I read about the Houston one. The more the better! I wish Meow Wolf massive success (god knows, my gift shop tally should help!). Based on what we saw at Convergence Station, they are elevating the museum and theme park experience to new levels. I'm sure I'd have gone years ago if I knew just how amazing it was. I don't know anyone else who has been.

 

I really hope they don't get bought out by Disney or something more commercial. Their business model is (as far as I understand it) quite supportive of the communities they open in. The Denver one has artwork from over 100 Colorado artists.

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1 hour ago, kelley said:

Love Meow Wolf. The one in Santa Fe had this great “teenage bedrooms” exhibit that had remakes of some local artist bedrooms that they wanted as teenagers. It was neat. 

 

Gonna have to get to all of their installations.

 

1 hour ago, dogbert said:

https://meowwolf.com/explore/origin-story - documentary about the formation of it. I enjoyed it. 


Sweet, can't wait to watch!

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