rAndom International Presents: How To Take A Walk In the Rain- No Umbrellas, Wellies or Raincoats Necessary.

Every so often, a group of highly creative people comes up with an idea that has people thinking "why hasn't anyone come up with this before?", and also "what am I doing with my life?"
These are two of the thoughts that came to mind when I read about rAndom International's installation, Rain Room, which just stopped showing at New York City's Museum of Modern Art.

Using a combination of artsy, complex-sounding tools like "solenoid valves" and "injection moulded tiles", some engineering skills and a desire to create a social science experiment, Stuart Wood and Florian Ortkrass produced the Rain Room.

The Guardian sent a reporter to experience the Rain Room for himself when it was installed at The Barbican in London, and to speak to Wood and Ortkrass about what they had created: is it art- or is it a feat in engineering?

The installation is described as "a hundred square meter field of falling water through which it is possible to walk, trusting that a path can be navigated, without being drenched in the process". Basically, rain that is not wet, a.k.a best idea ever. Maybe if regular rain was more like this, I could learn to understand the whole "ohmigosh, the rain is so beautiful, I just want to play in it and inhale it all day" thing.

Walking through the installation gives the impression of a rainy day- the look of rain, the sound, and presumably the smell- without the tedium of actual precipitation. Motion sensors built into the design work with 3D tracking cameras that sense where a person is walking, and turn the valves off and on accordingly. There was a guy who did something like this once, in Egypt or something, and the water was sort of crimson-coloured....

Unsurprisingly, dry rain is something everyone would like to see- to experience it, to believe it, and (of course) to post evidence to Instagram.
Queues outside MoMA went on for hours on end, and it even became necessary to create a "preview" option, where patrons of the Museum could see a video of the installation, before deciding whether it was worth lining up to experience it.

Those who got to see the Rain Room were lucky enough to take photos to remember this once-in-a-lifetime experience by, and send them in to the internet- the world's at-your-fingertips noticeboard for current events. (Yip, technology definitely rules our lives.)

When Christina from Profresh Style posted about a queue at "the rain room", I thought she was talking about some new nightclub- then I saw this:

People did all kinds of poses in the Rain Room- children and adults alike having fun with something that warrants the description "mind-blowing", in a time when such an adjective is used to describe the most random, mundane things.

Pictures from the MoMA blog, and TimeOut

I hate queues. So much. So, so much. I really hate queues. But I like getting on something new and exciting, and being able to say "I was there". If the Rain Room came to South Africa (which I really hope it does), I would buy a camp chair and a cooler box, and make sure I had photo-ready hair. I mean, if I were to make an effort to get not-rained on, I would have to do it right.


  1. Sounds cool. If only we could take our parents there...like the museum in Paris!!


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