The Dream Machine, an art installation which premiered April 5th, in Brooklyn, NY, is, according to their website, a new “interactive experience…inspired by dreams and made for reality.”
Over the long weekend, Lydia Richardson ’20 and I visited the Dream Machine to take photos and to experience what the website calls a “surreal-powered playground.”
After watching a BuzzFeed YouTube video showing someone go through the installation, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of what I was about to experience. However, going there and exploring it was beyond what I expected.
When you first arrive, you’re asked to wait in line until your whole group arrives. Yes, we had a group, and, no, we did not get to run around the installment freely. We were told the whole tour was 30-45 minutes long, and we would only get to stay in each of the nine rooms for around 5 minutes each. This was definitely disappointing, considering we were planning to take our time shooting photos, but we still went into it with an optimistic mindset.
After our tour guide showed up, we went through velvet curtains into our first room: the Cloud Room.
The first stop on our dream journey was the Cloud Room, where we “fell asleep.” Blue lights surrounded us with big, soft cloud-like decorations hanging from the ceiling. We spent our 5 minutes in there rushing to fix our camera settings to adapt to the lighting, and running around trying to get as many photos as we could without other people from the tour– including many kids– getting in the way. After being hustled from the room so the next tour could go in, we entered the Bubble Room.
The Bubble Room was one of my favorites, obviously, because of the bubbles. However, they were not normal soap bubbles; these turned to smoke once you touched them. How do they do this? I have no clue, but it definitely added to the feeling of dreaming.
After the Bubble Room, we went down a hallway that was entirely black and white. This was based on the phenomenon that some people experience of dreaming in black and white. This was my least favorite part because when compared to all the other cool and different things, this seemed pretty dull.
The next room more than made up for it with what’s called “Spin Cycle,” a laundromat featuring neon lights on the ceiling, and dryers that opened up to reveal an infinity room. This room contained seats with a “Drop Off & Selfie Service” light-up sign above it, which was perfect for photos. In this room you also received cotton candy, which was made in front of your eyes on what seemed to be a washing machine. Not only was this cool and fun, but it also contributed to the dream-like experience.
Next we were brought into the Infinity Room. Before going there, I had always seen infinity rooms on Instagram and thought it would be so cool to actually go inside one. The Dream Machine’s didn’t disappoint because this was my favorite part of the experience. (I know I already said the Bubble Room was my favorite, but I couldn’t pick!) I’d never seen anything like it before and felt like I was in space. The multitude of mirrors and changing lights was crazy to see. The only downside was being ushered out with not even 5 minutes to enjoy it. Lydia had to change her camera settings and barely got a single photo before the door was opened and we were led somewhere else.
After the Infinity Room, we went into an underwater ball pit. Projected on the walls was what you would see when swimming underwater in a pool. They even added a ladder like you’d see in a pool to add to the vibe. In this room we barely took any photos, and instead, jumped in and enjoyed the moment.
After reluctantly leaving the ball pit, we walked through a rainbow-lit hall. This was an amazing place to take photos. The color of the lights was constantly changing and it was a lot of fun to run through.
Following the Rainbow Hall, we entered into the Print Garden. This definitely made me feel like I was Alice in Wonderland. It was a dark room full of lots of plants covered in different patterns. Neon lights pointed down from the ceiling onto the plants, casting colorful shadows all around, which added to the whole “out of this world” atmosphere.
Walking out of the garden, we were faced with an abundance of metallic streamers (15 feet of them to be exact.) As we walked through, we took a lot of photos in between the individual streamers and got some really cool shots.
As amazing as it was, every dream must come to an end, and the Dream Machine ended on a high note. The final room featured another light-up sign, stating “It was all a dream.” Below it hung more velvet curtains, ones just like the ones we entered through. This was such a memorable place to take photos and the whole representation of waking up was really creative.
Overall, the Dream Machine was amazing. Getting to see so many unique ideas all in one place was inspiring and something that I will never forget. The steep price of $38 per ticket was definitely worth it because this installment is something you don’t see everyday.
(Copyright 2018 June Dinias)