Long lines to get into the rain

Interactive "Rain Room" Exhibit Allows Visitors To Control Their Environment

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By Claudine Zap

It’s the long line where locals and tourists alike have flocked. The wait, sometimes for hours, is to enter an exhibit that lets you stand in the rain, sort of. The Rain Room, created by Random International, is on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art as part of EXPO 1: New York.

The piece allows visitors to walk through a choreographed downpour. The museum advises visitors, "This is a dark installation featuring falling water. It is possible that you may get slightly wet." The technology senses a person’s presence, and the water pauses, giving the illusion of walking between the raindrops. Unlike many museum shows, photography is encouraged and shared at #rainroom.

The installation, which debuted in October 2012 in London, opened in New York on May 12 and runs through July 28. The social media sharing from the show – photos are being uploaded across the Web – has caused a downpour of interest, often leading to wait times of several hours in 90-degree heat. Limited entry is partly to blame: Only 10 people are allowed in at a time – the technology doesn’t work with a crowd.

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