If you’ve read “Meow What?” you’ve received at a glance into an upcoming attraction in Santa Fe that I truly believe will become a destination drawing visitors and making headlines all over the world. The House of Eternal Return isn’t just groundbreaking, it’s unparalleled. It’s one part art exhibit, one part theme park, one part “choose your own adventure” story, and every part imagination made reality: The impossible literally brought to life. Last week, I had the opportunity to spend a day behind the scenes in their workshops. The visit not only left me completely impressed but also on pins and needles waiting for more. There’s so much to tell you that this article is going to do little more than whet your appetite. Make sure to check out our upcoming issue of MNR as one of the feature stories will be all about my sneak peek. You won’t believe the marvels you’ll see.
So Just What is the House of Eternal Return?
It would be easy to pen a summary of my tour and the interviews, but I know that if your interest is at all piqued one question stands out for you: What about this place is so incredible? Lucky for you, I got the go-ahead to share some details. The House of Eternal Return takes you on a trans-dimensional journey, which begins in a two-story Victorian mansion. You’ll step inside, and there you’ll find the effects and trappings of the family that called it home. With the complete freedom to explore their rooms and belongings, it will soon become apparent that something is amiss, and nothing as it seems. I don’t want to spoil any of the fun by ruining the thrills, so let’s just say that looking in the right places will literally open doors into other worlds. You’ll traverse mysterious caverns, a luminescent forest, a post-apocalyptic ghost town, and so much more, -all of it contained inside a 35,000 square foot building. Every visit will lead to new discoveries, and that’s the whole idea.
The Art of Storytelling
Interaction makes the driving force behind the experience Meow Wolf plans to shape –transforming the unknown into a thing filled with potential and excitement. The journey won’t just be about seeing, but hearing, and touching as well. I my opinion, that’s what really makes the House of Eternal Return special. It’s not something you just go view, it’s something you get to live. There are some astounding features in the works: A full-sized mastodon skeleton, tree houses, and even a playable harp made from laser beams, (Just wait till you see more on that)! The whole idea
All of those details working together make the House of Eternal Return a type of real-world story. During my tour the topic of narrative came up at every turn. Even seemingly insignificant details will be worth a close look. As a writer and an artist myself, I love that. The best stories, be they movies, books, or even video games, are the ones we can experience again and again while still finding something new. I’ve said it before: We’re wired to experience, understand, and communicate our place in the world that way. The prospect of using that fact to shape a merger of education, art, and entertainment is an exciting prospect.
Even now, construction crews are finishing up renovations to what was once an old bowling alley, and very soon all the last pieces of the puzzle will be falling into place. If you’re like me and can’t wait to see more, make sure to keep up with coming blog posts and MNR Magzine. There’s a lot left unsaid, and a lot left to discover even before The House of Eternal Return sees its first visitor. With the grand opening slated for late 2015 and an open invitation from the great people making all this possible to come back and see the progress, it’s a topic I’ll be writing about frequently.