Jess and I went to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe back in November of 2019. It was such a bizarre and fun experience. I could have spent many more hours there than we did. I went in knowing nothing about what I was going to experience. I have mixed feelings about its continued expansion.

Part of what felt so interesting about Meow Wolf was it being this huge, expansive, comprehensive projected, grounded in this one space. For something so complex, it also felt completely haphazard. There was an element of anti-design that made it seem both more realistic/immersive and like it had just kept growing organically, purely by passion.

The idea of repeating something that felt tethered, unique, and layered like that– it removes a bit of the shine. It rubs off a sense of authenticity, even if that authenticity was equally manufactured the first go around.

I’m glad I experienced Meow Wolf how I did. We had an extra half day due to work travel schedules. I had no idea what it was– we were just told this is a fun thing to do in Santa Fe. We drove up to a very unassuming building in a very unassuming parking lot, with nothing of note around. We walked in and paid our ticket fee, and I still didn’t really know what it was. And suddenly, there’s just a house inside this building. It’s dark and there’s sound being piped in. And you walk into this strange house, and for the next two or so hours, everything you looked at, touched, peeled back, and wandered through was stranger and stranger. It began seeming like a completely random collage constructed by many hands with many styles and many visions, but slowly congeals into a cohesive and thought through idea. There is a narrative. There is a theme. Everything seems to fit, even when it really doesn’t.

I haven’t been to another Meow Wolf, and maybe I never will. But it’s a weird idea to replicate. I’m not sure it can be magical in the same way twice, and I’m not sure it can be magical transported and built anew. Maybe if you’ve never been, you can still have the experience I did, in whichever city you find yourself experiencing it. Part of me thinks not.