If the title immediately calls Alice in Wonderland to mind, you’re not far off base. Like Lewis Carroll’s fever dream of a book, the new interactive gallery space at IX Park is decidedly trippy. Walk in, and it’s like walking outside into a world not quite your own.
“I wanted to veer away from scary,” said sound designer *Michael Moxham, and the rumblings, creakings, and groanings of the enchanted forest certainly walk the line- the tension in the soundscape is palpable, and it makes your hair stand on end, from intrigue, not fear. Moxham is one of 14 artists that collaborated to make the gallery an (enchanted) reality.
Part meditative, part miniature, part game, and all interactive, the space has a little something for everyone- a giant, backlit caterpillar invites attendees to walk through and solve bright mazes with laser pointers (Bernie McCabe); an interactive video wall (Jeff Dobrow) “grabs” on to a person and, calling to mind a venus fly trap, playfully stalks their every movement; hammock chairs and beanbags call one to relax and enjoy, and a painstakingly constructed gnome house (Katarzyna Borek) welcomes all into the cozy life of a forest gnome – if you can find the door.
The Looking Glass is opening up this Saturday, January 18, and a ticket ($15 for adults, $12 for children under 13) will buy a 60-minute entry into the enchanted forest. My guess is that that hour will feel like a blink, and many will be lining up to go right back in.
*A previous version of this article mistook the name of designer Michael Moxham.