MoMA's "EXPO:1" Rain Room installation, designed by London-based artists rAndom International, has been making headlines for its long lines (the wait is around four to five hours for nonmembers) and Instagram appeal. The multi-sensory experience, where one feels immersed in rain (without actually getting wet) has been home to marriage proposals, dancing, kissing, and anything else you can think of that people would want to do in artificial rain...like yoga.
As you can imagine, after people wait in line for a few hours, they probably feel a little crazy. Many are underwhelmed with the experience, because frankly, the wait is not worth the hype. Is it ever, though? Some people have fainted once getting into the room due to NYC's extreme summer heat, and that can't be worth it to anyone.
Who are the people waiting in this line, especially during the week? They're tourists, young people without jobs/funemployed, or people who took a day off from work. People with jobs have waited up to nine hours on the weekend, because they must have nothing better to do or something.
MoMA knows what they're doing, and it's creating hype for a greater, very excellent "EXPO:1" exhibition. However, there's a point where all line-creating hype (including art hype, sneaker hype, and movie premiere hype) goes too far and makes us question the future of popular art. Will the artists who succeed be the ones who make work that induces FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) or produces massive Instagram potential? For pieces that are this experiential, the answer may be yes.
In an attempt to learn more about the people who have spent hours waiting in line during this past week's NYC heat wave, we went to the #rainroom hashtag on Instagram. It turns out that the yoga pose struggle is very real, and maybe it's due to a combination of the heat and people needing a good stretch. Besides the recent cronut appearance at the Rain Room, it's not an altogether eventful place. Go for the experience, stay for the Instagram, and do your best to stay hydrated, should you decide to go. And maybe leave the yoga poses at home.
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