You didn’t get to go to the Rain Room because it was sold out. Or you were able to go but want to go again. The Rain Room may have closed on January 22, 2017 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), but the prospect of experiencing it has not dried up. It’s reincarnating. Staying for good. Raining for good.
Thank Restoration Hardware — who had commissioned the work — for donating it to the permanent collection at LACMA. Ephemerality and availability had governed its supply and demand until now. Permanent residence granted, the Rain Room’s reopening date is the only thing between you and this interactive art installation that RH Chairman & CEO, Gary Friedman, says reflects “creative courage, trust, and a belief that all of us have the ability to affect any environment we choose to step into.” Move and the rain moves too, because precipitation parts wherever you are in the room. It’s why phones and cameras survive there and why over 54,000 photos on Instagram have the #rainroom hashtag and a liquid light shower.
Ten to fifteen minutes is all you’ll have in this room with black walls, spotlights, and 528 gallons of downpour. You may want to stay longer but the brief window of time is like any weather condition — a passing phenomenon. What we know about the design of the Rain Room is that the founders of Random International (Florian Ortkrass, Hannes Koch, and Stuart Wood) “were curious to see how it would feel to be immersed in a rainstorm that wouldn’t physically affect you,” according to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). And what we know about Random International is that “it is a collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art,” with work “questioning aspects of identity and autonomy in the post-digital age…[and inviting] active participation.”
Whenever the Rain Room does reopen, we recommend reservations. F.A. and I went a few weeks before it closed, and as someone with Dual Membership at LACMA with paid privileges, I still couldn’t get a reservation for two in the Rain Room without making an advance payment on renewing my membership.
Demand is that high for rain in Los Angeles.
— Q.D. from Culver City
Art and magic are no different. But we are.