Kadlubek envisions a future where the lines between things like art, theme parks, role-playing games, and augmented reality will be blurred. The emerging term, he explains, is “alternative reality.” For Meow Wolf, this will mean providing a multitude of alternative reality experiences that are, for the audience, spontaneous and unpredictable.
“Meow Wolf in Santa Fe is a node—it’s an art experience seen through the context of consumerism and entertainment,” Kadlubek explained. “People go to a location, they have an experience, and then they go home.” The ultimate goal is for time spent in these spaces to actually change real life—to “subvert” the everyday.
Kadlubek compares today’s influx of experiential attractions to the internet in the late 1990s. Back then, using the internet was an isolated, novel activity—we would sit down and log onto the computer to send an email or go on instant messenger. We hadn’t realized, Kadlubek said, “that it was going to permeate and actually envelop reality. I think that that’s the direction these experiences are going in.”
He proposes that 10 years from now, particularly with the proliferation of augmented reality, we’ll be able to access alternative realities that are akin to high-tech “Choose Your Own Adventure” novels. “I think that [the] Museum of Ice Cream, Meow Wolf, and immersive theater are all just precursors to what is about to really pop-off for everyone,” Kadlubek said. “I don’t even know if it’s art anymore. There’s a whole way of being that’s going to be shifting soon.”