Slumber arty: New exhibit takes you to Dreamland

Dreaming awake: Co-founders Paige Solomon and Gary Johnson open their new installation Dream Machine in Williamsburg on April 5.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

This exhibit is a dream come true!

A new interactive installation in Williamsburg lets visitors experience a waking dream, wandering through nine trippy rooms, each set up with surreal visuals straight from the Sandman. “Dream Machine,” opening on April 5, not only evokes the visions found beyond the gates of slumber, but visitors’ ambitions and lofty goals, said the installation’s creative director.

“It takes you through a sleep cycle, falling deeper and deeper into sleep,” said Paige Solomon, who lives in Williamsburg and created the installation with her partner Gary Johnson. “It’s a nine room experience that touches on dreams, both sleep and aspirational dreams.”

The installation, which will take about an hour to sleep-walk through, explores the different stages of slumber and dreaming. Visitors start in a sky-blue room filled with fluffy clouds, trek to another suffused with fog and bubbles, and then make their way to a ball pit stuffed with 35,000 tiny spheres, with light projections making it look like the bottom of a swimming pool, said Solomon.

“It looks like you’re in a swimming pool, so that room is really fun and immersive,” she said.

And the so-called “infinity room” looks like a galaxy filled with mirrors and lights, infinitely duplicating whatever image is in the mirror to create a beautiful never-ending display, said Solomon.

Head in the clouds: One of the nine rooms in Dream Machine.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

“That room is probably the most beautiful, very stunning when you walk in there,” she said. “The rest are really fun and whimsical.”

The final room in the exhibit is a gift shop, selling work by various artists. The shop also features a chalkboard for guests to write their own dreams, whether describing what they experienced during their most recent visit to Dreamland, or their ambitions to travel across the world, said Solomon.

“Share your dream, whatever that means to you — dream to be your own boss or go to Thailand,” she said.

And each room offers a perfect opportunity to pose for a photograph and share it on social media, she said.

“It’s basically what I like to call an Instagram playground,” she said.

Dream Machine (93 N. Ninth St. between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street in Williamsburg, Open April 5–May 31; 10 am–10 pm (closed Wednesdays). Tickets must be purchased in advance. $38.

Hallway to heaven: One of the nine rooms in Dream Machine features rapidly changing colors.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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