The Rain Room at LACMA

Although the project was first presented (to great critical acclaim and public amazement) in 2012 at The Barbican in London, last November’s (second) reprise of the extraordinary ‘Rain Room’ by Random International at LACMA in Los Angeles continues to be one of our clear favorites in sensory design, being some of the most gracious construction we’ve encountered in the last few years. The London-based innovative studio brought its installation to LA via Shanghai, where it was also shown – partly simultaneously with its presence in the USA – during the last months of 2015, proving interest in the work to be worldwide. The highly elegant ‘Rain Room’ is an immersive environment of perpetually falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected. It offers visitors an opportunity to experience what is seemingly impossible: the ability to control rain. The creation presents a respite from everyday life and an opportunity for sensory reflection within a responsive relationship.

The Los Angeles rendition of the ‘Rain Room’ is courtesy of RH, Restoration Hardware and is part of The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology at LACMA, a joint initiative exploring the convergence of art and technology. The remarkable sensorial artwork draws from the California Light and Space movement as well as architecture and performance art, the incredible design an immersive encounter that is both participatory and contemplative, proving to be among the most cutting edge designs being created in this day and age.

Our other work has performed on a more intimate scale in terms of size and engagement, but what’s common to most of our projects is that they extract interesting behavior from the viewers.

Formed in 2005 by former Royal College of Art students Hannes Koch, Florian Ortkrass and Stuart Wood, Random International is a collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art, having created numerous installations involving audience participation. Taking science as a means to develop a new material vocabulary, their work invites consideration of the man/ machine relationship through explorations of behavior and natural phenomena, with the viewer an active participant. Random International is led by founders Florian Ortkrass and Hannes Koch, who met at Brunel University before going on to study at the Royal College of Art. Ortkrass and Koch led the creative direction of the studio alongside cohort Stuart Wood until his departure in 2015. Based in London, with an outpost in Berlin, the studio today includes a wider team of diverse and complementary talent.

Since their inception, Random International has taken inspiration from LACMA’s Art and Technology program, which ran from 1967 to 1971 and paired artists with scientific or otherwise innovative corporations in an effort to expand the field of production. In a similar vein, the studio prioritizes experimentation through collaboration. Fittingly, ‘Rain Room’ is presented under the auspices of LACMA’s most recent Art and Technology initiative.

All tickets have officially sold out, but when in Los Angeles make sure to keep an eye on the last few tickets (if they become available in the future) to visit the ‘Rain Room’ until it closes on the 6th of March here

For more information and work by Random International see here