Rain in LA

LACMA Rain RoomEl Niño may relieve the California drought but, in the meantime, Angelenos can enjoy a downpour without getting wet. Rain Room is an installation at LACMA by the London-based artist collective Random International. It’s located on the ground floor of BCAM in a gallery adjoining Chris Burden’s Metropolis, and two monumental Serras. It’s hard to imagine a more exciting conjunction, and it illustrates the transformation that Michael Govan has accomplished at the museum.

Rain Room is part of LACMA’s ongoing Art and Technology initiative, reviving a program that ran for a few years when the museum was new. Water streams down noisily but, as visitors step forward sensors create a dry circle six feet across—a virtual umbrella. Mothers carried babies to introduce them to an element they had never experienced before. An architect was soaked, either because he was wearing black (light colors are recommended) or because he was walking too quickly. Stand stock still and you should stay dry. Attendance is by timed ticket and you’ll need to be a member to secure one, since all the public passes have been sold. However, the run may be extended beyond the scheduled date of March 6. –Michael Webb

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