The popular arts entertainment group Meow Wolf just debuted its first-ever ride experience in Denver. The city’s Elitch Gardens is now home to “Kaleidoscape,” an immersive shooter ride that takes theme park visitors on a dazzling, neon-tinted journey “through the multiverse.”
According to Meow Wolf co-founder Emily Montoya, the ride’s narrative follows a interdimensional subway system through a series of otherworldly landscapes, created by a team of Santa-Fe and Denver based artists. Every landscape the ride takes passengers through is a unique work created by a different artist, and these works blend together along the ride’s track to create an ever-changing and alluring landscape.
Katie Caron created a detailed space full of brightly colored alien-like flora and fauna that evokes an Alice in Wonderland kind of vibe. Close by, Kenzie Sitterud created a sequence in which a common kitchen chair is illuminated in sequences, flying across a checkered background and ultimately exploding into twirling pieces. These shifts in artistic style from room to room truly evoke the feeling of flying through different dimensions and keep the rider mesmerized at every turn.
In any typical museum, touching the art is a big no-no. But Meow Wolf provides anything but a typical art experience. You can’t touch this art, but you can do the next best thing - shoot it! Each rider is equipped with a bright green laser gun, which can be used to hit targets placed throughout the art displays. Hitting a target can trigger eccentric sound effects and movements within the exhibits, providing a truly immersive and interactive art experience.
Kaleidoscape's concept is unique and abstract, therefore easy to miss without somewhat of an explanation. The core concept of multiverse travel is explained to the riders by a kooky robot while they wait in the queue. Be sure to listen to him, because he’s got a lot of peculiar things to say. He compares the universe to a doughnut (a never-ending loop) and the doughnut’s hole to a black hole, leaving any deeper interpretation up to the rider.
Pay attention to the graphics of the doughnut that he shows, because they’ll come back within the ride and help tie together the narrative as you’re taken from “dimension” to “dimension.”
Meow Wolf has been pursuing the creation of an immersive art themed ride for years, and Kaleidoscape is the long-anticipated and lovingly-crafted result, thanks to this collaboration with Elitch Gardens. The ride serves as somewhat of a teaser for the Denver Meow Wolf museum, which will be based around the same concept of interdimensional subway travel. The museum is set to open sometime in 2020 and will be at least double the size of Meow Wolf’s infamous House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe.
In the meantime, be sure to check out Kaleidoscape, Meow Wolf’s second ever permanent installation and first-ever ride experience!Tweet
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