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Meow Wolf Dark Palace: A Cosmic Treat for the Masses

Meow Wolf Dark Palace: A Cosmic Treat for the Masses

AmberTarver

November 28th, 2019

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Meow Wolf: A portal into another dimension of artistic and human possibility. We know it as the first interactive art experience of its kind; it opened in Santa Fe, New Mexico in March of 2016. A massive 70,000 sq ft warehouse dripping with intertwined fabrics of reality; beautifully interwoven into our tangible existence within 70 different rooms.

Taking you by hand into a world of unlimited imagination, Meow Wolf gathered caverns of creations curated by none other than Game Of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin. Consequently, earning the THEA Award-winning House of Eternal Return, guests travel into a multidimensional mystery house. It oozes with portals to magical worlds, secret passages, interactive walls and plenty to keep you utterly enthralled. Travelers spend hours exploring every possible inch, finally leaving with multitudes of inspiration and yet unanswered questions. The ability to fully comprehend the exhibit as a whole is something the mind thirsts to quench in one visit.

Ethical Philanthropy

In short, the cultivation of Meow Wolf ripped a hole into the world of DIY venues, art installations and musical venues. People from around the world made the trek to immerse their senses in a way previously unknown. The successes of the Public Benefit Corporation saw profits from 10 to 18 million each year. They quickly reinvested those funds into additional permanent installations. As Meow Wolf grows into new markets, they have the mission to integrate the needs of each unique community. Community involvement, ethical philanthropy, environmental stewardship and strengthening the local economy are major piers of the organization. As they look into future markets, the needs of the local creative community take priority before undertaking their significant projects. Our appreciation for this organization certainly throbs with respect for this.

Expanding Markets

New upcoming expansion markets include Las Vegas, NV (2020), Washington, D.C. (2020), Phoenix, AZ (2022), and our very own in Denver, CO (2020). Meow Wolf already jump-started the new relationship in Denver earlier this year by curating an art ride, Kaleidoscope, at local amusement park Elitch Gardens, located in the heart of downtown Denver. Riders experience a journey through quantum travel and into the uncharted depths of the cosmic void. Knowing this attraction would attract both children and adults, as does The House of Eternal Return, it welcomes all ages. Permitting all to question the unlimited possibilities of the mind and the universe through mesmerizing exhibits in a dark ride. This artistic addition to the 129-year-old amusement park brought additional revenue from existing admirers and intrigued newcomers. In September, Meow Wolf announced the coming of the Dark Palace.

Denver’s 3-Day Festival

An additional anticipatory celebration of the new permanent location of Meow Wolf – Denver reinvests their creativity into a three-day indoor mini festival, the Meow Wolf Dark Palace. This three-day arts and Electronic music festival had the city of Denver buzzing with excitement and bubbling curiosity. The House of Eternal Return became infamous for their music events held within the dreamscape castle of never-ending ear- and eye-gasms. In short, Meow Wolf knows how to throw a party to ignite each and every sense, including some new ones.

Artists on the first night included Claude VonStroke, a legend in the House music scene, Guy Gerber, Oona Dahl, MK, JLin, J. Worra, Steve Darko, Jimmy Edgar and local house hero Option4. Meow Wolf Dark Palace – A Dance Obscura, began last weekend at The National Western Complex in Denver, Colorado. Local residents, honored to receive one of the first articulations of Meow Wolf, certainly bought tickets. It also attracted admirers from around the globe. Day 1 was all about House, and the place was vibing!

The Dark Palace

Firstly, upon entering the Dark Palace, we were welcomed by a neon cylindrical installation made up of illuminated triangles stretching about seven-feet tall. Slightly reminiscent of Tetris, we felt comforted by the peaceful shapes. Then we proceeded forward, past a tropical boozy smoothie stand to a wall decorated brightly by a three dimensional tetrahedron. The sides of the shapes comprised of tubes as thin as straws and only portions of the three-dimensional sides were solid. Consequently, this created a transparent, floating appeal.

Through the visual invitation, to our left and down some stairs, we subsequently found the giant cuddle puddle cafe. Patrons aplenty filled the makeshift couches, platformed seating adorned with glowing chairs, and movable dot-like gel seats. One way that Meow Wolf integrates community is by creating space for people to be comfortable amongst the art. Overstimulation is typically on the menu, so weaving in a place to unwind is divine. To communicate, connect, reflect and find peace. 

The Hall Stage

Meanwhile, just parallel to the squishy chill zone illuminated by large-as-life frames illuminated a wall, perfect for impressive group photos and expressive selfies. You could also find these walls along the Hall Stage, which was located just around the corner. In addition, the Hall Stage had a large projection screen that projected translucent images of oversized faces with the backdrop being the DJ on stage. The sound did have a “hall” sounding sensation; but this was likely due to the large, older venues’ open interior design. As it is with most shows, the location to speaker to dancefloor matrix is very crucial to maximize sound absorption.

Night One

The main attraction of Night 1, was the Main Stage featuring Claude VonStroke. With Guy Gerber playing the Hall Stage at essentially the same time, fans faced harsh decision making or vowed to bounce back and forth between stages to not miss a beat.

The Main Stage

The Main Stage, wow… It took us aback. Framed with tall pyramids reaching towards the domed roof sprinkled themselves out and onto the dance floor. Stage projections and internal lights illuminated them. Individual cubic-shaped pillars wrapped up next to and in front of the DJ’s that reached almost as high as the stretchy pyramids, forming a backdrop. These pillars featured some of the most illuminating and detailed artwork projected by breathtaking visual artists. With lasers blasting through the atmosphere above the dancefloor, the use of space was admirable in bringing an immersive visual experience. For those who wished to sit, the stands facing the stage were available, which had speakers strategically placed to provide a well-rounded sound experience. Dancers in full wardrobe pulled at your comfortability with intoxicating moves and elaborate outfits. 

Night Two

Night 2 boasted the likes of VCTRE, Late Night Radio, Nadasound, LYFTD, Megan Hamilton, Schlomo, Charlesthefirst and Mass Relay. To be certain, there were three to four times the amount of attendees than Night 1, which brought a vibe closer to that of an outdoor music festival. It was dark in places, but in the far reaches of the venue one could stumble upon multiple rooms providing an intricate and fully designed Meow Wolf artistic explosion.

In one room you were invited to eat queer art for breakfast. This room was decked out in fabulous and sparkly decorations with room to sit and selfie or mingle. We were quickly drawn to the make your own kandi table where you could string your very own bracelets to remember the event by. Following through to another room with ceilings stretched with neon nylon webs and mirror eyes to have you looking from a multitude of perspectives. On the other side you could find yourself being eaten by yarn-shaped jellyfish-like cascades from the ceiling and bar windows where you could take more pictures or welcome outsiders in to explore. 

Walking between the main stage to the chill zone or Hall Stage you could find yourself twisting like a ballerina from reachable disco balls, drizzling passersby in a rainbow of disco magic.

Night Three

Night 3 was the one to send everyone off. Adding even more projections on previously empty massive walls, picture opportunities abounded. Being blessed by the sounds of MeSo, Of The Trees, Shades, Eli Escobar, Lauren Lane and Dirt Monkey, Bass music junkies came to frolic in the visual and audible awe. Getting lost in the chambers of creation provided by the infamous Meow Wolf superseded our expectations and left us thirsty for more. Don’t be discouraged though, world, Meow Wolf in many new states will be ready to go for all, soon enough. In fact, you can pre-purchase tickets to the new locations now. Don’t wait for your mind to be rewired and stretched to new underlying depths of infinite wonder and treat yourself to the sensations you’ve always been waiting for without further adieu. 

Artist Shoutouts

Artist shoutouts who helped curate the incredible environment include: AudioPixel, Chelsey Crandell, Collin Parson, Denver Digerati, Emma Balder, Ethnograph, Jon Medina, Laleh Mehran & Chris Coleman, Matt Barton, Moe Gram, Psychopomps, Rainbow Militia, Secret Love Collective, The Girls of Denver Kiki Sessions, Werk Out Palace. More info available here: https://santafe.meowwolf.com/dark-palace/artists/.

Meow Wolf Night 2
Meow Wolf Night 2
MeSo on Night Three
Meow Wolf Night Three
Shades Night Three
Dirt Monkey Night Three

Photos By Reda Ruokyte, Roberto Loya and Simon Quince

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