October 27, 2016 • Santa Fe, NM
One definition of true art is that it gives us a glimpse or a feeling of the raw nature of reality. I’m not sure if I saw a shard of that or not, but at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, I definitely got the sense of being immersed in art—a story, or a situation, clearly fictional but at made real, three-dimensional. Meow Wolf is an experience that’s difficult to categorize. I fear that describing it with words will somehow cheapen it or limit the experience; from a writer I’m sure that sounds like a clear admission of my limitations. I have the mental image of that thing in quantum physics, when you observe a particle, you cause the superposition of its states of reality to collapse into just one. If I choose descriptors for Meow Wolf, somehow I’ll limit the experience for the next person.
An attempt at an overall objective description, perhaps, is to say that artists built immersive structures in an old bowling alley. The experience begins as you wander into a house that has been teleported from Mendocino, California, altered and distorted in the process. Other parts of the house lead into alternate dimensions that you can walk through, crawl through, and absorb. Sit at the kitchen table and browse through the local Mendo alt weeklies, dig through the mail in the mailbox, see what’s in the bedroom drawers.
So what’s going on here? Is it a mystery to be solved, or a gigantic artwork that needs to be experienced rather than described?
If you find yourself anywhere near Santa Fe, don’t miss Meow Wolf.