Rain Room, the art installation that had people lined up for hours when it debuted in New York two years ago, is surprisingly corporate. It was commissioned by Restoration Hardware back in 2012. The company had just decided to enter the contemporary art market and wanted something truly impressive to mark its arrival. The artists who call themselves Random International provided the perfect proposal: a room in which water falls from the ceiling but never actually hits viewers, unless they walk too quickly for sensors to detect them. About 17,000 people have already made reservations to enter the room, and the experience is surreal. Standing beneath manufactured rain that barely touches you in the midst of a drought makes technology feel disturbingly distanced from reality.
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