I’m not sure where the time went, but it’s already May. At the same time, it’s only May and I’m beyond exhausted! Somewhere between the never-ending days and the short sleepless nights, it was only a matter of time before I felt like I was in a constant state of sleepwalking. Ironically, I came across the Dream Machine exhibit on a friend’s Instagram during one of my worst days when I was practically snoring on my keyboard. Immediately intrigued by the cool photos, my friend and I purchased tickets. If I’m going to sleepwalk 24/7, why not actually have some fun with it?
Dream Machine is an interactive exhibit in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that is “inspired by dreams and made for reality.” Similar to Refinery29’s 29 Rooms experience, guests walk through numerous rooms, each with a different theme. The rooms in this exhibit were less intricate than those of 29 Rooms albeit just as interesting.
The moody blue or pink lighting in the rooms tinted your vision and created the illusion of walking through a trancelike state. It’s designed in hopes that you plant a seed of your dream at the exhibit and leave inspired to watch them grow in real life over time. I’ve always been a restless sleeper and lucid dreamer, so taking a trip through the exhibit felt like a familiar trip of its own. Since it’s common to dream of familiar places, the exhibit brings you through common settings but each with a twist.
Upon entering the exhibit, you’re greeted with glowing blue lights and low-hanging clouds which resembled the early stages of a dream. The following room was also blue tinted and floating with bubbles. But much like a dream, if you reached your hand out to pop the bubbles they would simply turn into smoke and disappear…
Did you know some people only dream in black and white? That was shock to me since a handful of my dreams have been overly vivid and saturated. The next hallway you walk through was strictly in black and white with a mix of 3D and 2D designs. It almost looked like it came out of an old school cartoon. I would have never imagined that some people’s dreams look like this.
The next room the biggest room in the exhibit, the laundry room. I’m not sure what is alluring about laundromats, but I always see them as backdrops of “artsy” or grungy photoshoots…and in some really creepy photoshoots. Regardless, this room was one of my favorites to take photos in. Not only were we served pink cotton candy, we could even explore a hidden infinity room behind the machines.
If you’ve ever seen photos of the infinity dots room by Yayoi Kusama in Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory, you’d have an idea of the illusions and magic a fully mirrored room could create.The mirrored room was pitch black and filled with little lights hanging at different heights from the ceiling. As the lights changed colors silently, the subtly shift between hues almost fool you into thinking you were hearing twinkling sounds. For someone who loves night lights, this was one of the most beautiful rooms in the exhibit. For videos, see the “Dream Machine” highlight on my Instagram profile!
Past the laundry room and before a hallway of arches and glowing colored lights was a the ball pit that sat at the “bottom of a swimming pool.” I haven’t been in a ball pit since I was 5, so let’s just say I had a lot of fun with this one. My friend and I jumped in and “swam” around for a bit. Considering I’m a terrible swimmer, I was just glad to be in a pool where I didn’t have to make some dramatic scene about whether or not I would drown and die that day.
The second to last room was by far my favorite. It was filled with plants and psychedelic lighting, fulling transporting you to the height of an intense dream. Stay there too long and you’ll wonder if you’re watching leaves grow spots or hallucinating. If you’re smart with angles and lighting, you can snap some of the coolest shots in this room.
Sadly, all things, even dreams, must come to an end. The final room was full of silver metallic streamers flowing down from the ceiling leading you to the exit with “It was all a dream” glowing in neon lights. Finding your way out of the streamers was a chaotic task of its own. It seemed like there were millions of them surrounding you to the point I lost my friend amongst the reflective streamers. Yet it felt somewhat comforting as it resembled the end to most of my dreams when I’m slightly lost and in mild panic right before I wake.
The Dream Machine exhibition was such a fun escape from reality. Despite the loud noise of the crowd of visitors and 102384 times I had to retake photos because of people in the background, I felt like this exhibit captured the basic elements of a dream. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for cool photo ops or something different to do in the city.
The exhibit is open from 10am to 10pm every day and scheduled to end on May 31st. You can reserve your ticket online only at Dream Machine‘s webpage. They’re priced at $38 each.
Until next time, have fun tripping over the border between dreams and reality. Bisou, bisou…