MoMA's ingenious new interactive installation, Rain Room, opens today in a lot next to the museum, where a handful of visitors at a time are permitted into a mysterious dark space to stroll through a storm without getting wet. The exhibit, which debuted at the Barbican Centre in London last year, utilizes 3D motion sensor cameras to pause the rain wherever a body is detected. Here's video from the London show:
The overall effect is mesmerizing—a semi-blinding white klieg light at the back of the room disorients your field of vision while highlighting the millions of individual raindrops showering down around you on all sides. The motion sensors are so sensitive that you can sweep your arm through the deluge and still keep your shirt dry. Move too quickly, however, and you can get good and soaked if want.
Random International, the collective which created the Rain Room, requests that only ten people are admitted at a time, so be prepared to stand on line à la The Clock. But if you bring a book, we think it's worth the wait, and you won't have to worry about the pages getting wet.