March 17 - The Opening of the House of Eternal Return

Posted on March 17, 2020

On this date in 2016, the Meow Wolf Art Complex opened in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Meow Wolf is an arts and entertainment company that wants to "transport" audiences to fantastic places that have never been seen or experienced before.

Its main exhibit, House of Eternal Return, was supported by the Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin; this exhibit received a THEA award. The house has a story line with a mystery you can try to solve OR that you can totally ignore. There are secret passages, portals to magical worlds, and surreal and maximalist art exhibits. The House of Eternal Return also includes a learning center for kids, a cafe, a bar, and one of the highest rated music venues in the country!

The house looks like a two-story Victorian house, and the kitchen looks like an ordinary kitchen - but not all is as it seems. For example, open a cupboard, open (and step into/through) the refrigerator, peek into (and crawl into?) the washing machine - you may get a surprise!

About 400 employees participate in Meow Wolf - and we are talking about all kinds of artists: architects, sculptors, painters, photographers, video producers, musicians, audio engineers, writers, costume designers, performers, and of course sooooo so so many artists who do more than one of these things.

A special category of art Meow Wolf is known for is "cross-reality" (AR / VR / MR). "AR" stands for augmented reality - when part of the surrounding environment a person sees is real, but layers of virtual (unreal) items have been added. Pokemon GO is an example. 

In "VR," or virtual reality, the entire environment seen by the person is unreal. 

And "MR" stands for mixed reality - that's when virtual objects actually interact with the person.

Because of all these sorts of cross-reality technologies, Meow Wolf's art tends to be immersive (you feel as if you are dropped inside a special place or another world) and interactive (you react to the real and virtual things you see, and they react to you!).

A couple of years ago Meow Wolf announced that two new art complexes would be opening soon in Las Vegas (Nevada) and later in Denver (Colorado).

A sneak peek into the Denver Meow Wolf exhibit

Meow Wolf wows audiences and employs loads of artists - both of which are super great things, in an of themselves. But Meow Wolf is more than that: like all art, it challenges norms, expands people's minds and viewpoints, it champions weirdness and inclusion and creativity. It is considered a public benefit corporation that gives back to the local community and is mindful of the environment.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fascinating and unique place, very different from so much of the Native American and Southwestern art you more typically see in that area. I was lucky enough to visit with daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Vanessa the last time we were in northern New Mexico. It was well worth the visit. Be sure to allow plenty of time to see/do/ experience everything.