The Amazing and Wonderful Rain Room

We stood in line for three hours yesterday to see MoMA’s new installation: Random International’s Rain Room.  (  It was worth every minute.  I would stand in line again today for three hours to see it again.

Random International's Rain Room (photo by the artist)

Random International’s
Rain Room
(photo by the artist)

At the time, I kept wondering why the line moved so slowly.   The attendants were letting in ten people at a time, but we were only moving about 20 feet each hour.  What was going on in there?

And then, after my five friends and I had laughed, learned lots of new American Sign Language from our deaf friend Mava, gossiped about our personal lives, AND eaten lunch standing up, it was our turn.

Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  I have not experienced such wonder since Ann Hamilton’s the event of a thread (see post of January 9, 2013).  If you haven’t read about the Rain Room yet (, it is the simplest of installations: inside a large dark room it is raining.  As you walk through the rain, you remain dry.  The machine senses you and moves the rain away.

I began to realize why the line was moving like a fat turtle.  We couldn’t leave because we were playing.  I ran.  I stopped suddenly.  I stuck one arm out.  I moved toward the light and then away from it.  I took lots of pictures (encouraged by the museum).  Everyone else in the Rain Room was experimenting, too.  We had gained power over the elements.  We were children, believing in magic and watching it at work around us.

It was the simplest of installations, but it changed our world, making us believe that anything was possible.  It has been a long time since I felt that kind of joy, and it was wonderful. Three hours, four hours, it doesn’t matter.  Go stand in line.  The exhibit closes on July 28th.


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