Please Do Touch: Meow Wolf / by chris miele

It's OK, look directly at the light...  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

They all said "Don't miss Meow Wolf."

Maybe it was the brightly colored neon sign or the the perfectly styled letters, but from the first glance we knew something magical was hidden inside Meow Wolf's white adobe abode.  Throughout the years we've been spoiled with heaps of interactive art experiences from attending events like Burning Man and Symbiosis, but seldom seen are those types of works elsewhere .  That notion was shattered once we stepped foot into Meow Wolf's inaugural installation 'The House Of Eternal Return.'  From the moment they hand over your wristband it's clear that this experience is unique.  Admission is valid all day allowing for breaks, re-entry, and ample time to explore. 3-D glasses were available for a single dollar, a nice addition to amplify the colors and dimensions that await. Stepping through the doors and hearing haunting instructions via intercom is surreal and sets the sci-fi tone.  Over 100 artists collaborated to created the alien labyrinth that's overwhelmingly meticulous and mysterious. Every corner begs to be explored for secret passageways, hidden clues, and well placed interactions.  We hadn't even made it past the main room and we were already floored with excitement and intrigue.

 
 

Portal #09594.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

 
 
Give it a good push.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

Give it a good push.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

This is a place where you must touch, EVERYTHING.

It'd be easy to assume that the creators had envisioned a narrow, targeted audience, but that couldn't be further from the truth.  Children of all ages were wandering through the various rooms as their parents and even grandparents followed, all equally stimulated from exploring and discovering their surroundings.  Frankly I couldn't recall the last time I had seen such a variety of age brackets equally engaged in an experience.  It was an incredible achievement, art that created real inclusion.  Each turn made was a blastoff to another dimension, all stranger and deeper than the last.  Glowing mushrooms played musical notes when touched, opening refrigerator doors led to alien laboratories, and dark corridors rewarded you with interactive light installations.  No wonder re-entry is permitted and encouraged, the constant discovery was mentally exhausting. 

 
 

LASER HARP!!!  Yes a laser harp!  As if I needed anymore reasons to spend all my time under lasers.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

 
 

Don't be afraid, certainly do activate and enter.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

The Burning Man similarities were off the chart, but it was extra re-affirming to see this playa veteran holding down Meow Wolf's exterior picnic area.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

The Burning Man similarities were off the chart, but it was extra re-affirming to see this playa veteran holding down Meow Wolf's exterior picnic area.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

Portal pod, who know where it'll take you.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

Portal pod, who know where it'll take you.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

Fish tank perspectives.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

Heavy on the side eye.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

Take a seat, stay awhile, and erase your mind.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

Get lost, it'll serve you well.

Thankfully we had no expectations because an afternoon spent wandering this otherworldly place shattered anything we could have imagined.  The passion that's been poured into this project is overwhelmingly apparent, and perhaps that's what makes it truly so special.  The artists responsible for Meow Wolf have been creating spaces together for nearly a decade and witnessing their biggest accomplishment yet is beyond inspiring.  Meow Wolf allows your inner child to play while igniting your adult mind, a combination that's priceless.  

 
 
When walls give you wings.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

When walls give you wings.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

 
 
Magic markers.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.

Magic markers.  Meow Wolf. Santa Fe, NM.