Experience Rain without Getting Wet: Jackalope and ACMI’s The Rain Room
Visitors can soon bask in a downpour without getting wet at The Rain Room, an interactive art exhibit opening in Melbourne on August 9. The 100-square-metre room is completely empty except for continuous rainfall, which ceases to fall wherever a visitor stands. This interplay of nature and humanity explores the relationship between them, emphasising technology as the nexus of the connection.
Art group Random International, who designed The Rain Room in 2012, have partnered with The Jackalope Art Collection and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) to bring their popular installation to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. The Rain Room has enjoyed popularity all over the north, including at the Barbican in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Yuz M in Shanghai, and, in its first permanent installation, at the Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates. Jackalope intends to introduce internationally acclaimed art to Australia, starting with the long-standing success of The Rain Room.
Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass of Random International explain that each new location adds something new to the exhibit, an intangible change that is dependent on local context. From the materials used to build the installation to the reactions of the audience, the exhibit adapts to its location to create a diversity of responses, truly comprising “an artwork that you inhabit.” The exhibit will eventually reside in the new Jackalope Hotel on Flinders Lane, but for now, visitors to The Rain Room will have to settle for the purpose-built Jackalope Pavilion in St Kilda, designed by architectural firm March Studio.
The Rain Room uses technology to foster a closer harmony between humans and the weather, in turn exploring how technology alters our experience of life. The installation is a physical foray into the philosophy of technological advancement, and we at Casper & Casper are excited to visit it in person!