THE DUE RETURN

An inter-dimensional ship, The Due Return, has settled on an alien landscape. Once a seafaring vessel, it now bares the marks of its previous voyages; a hodge-podge of transport devices and retro-fitted technologies.

The Due Return’s interior speaks of the rich history of the ship and its passengers, a history that is discoverable through a vast fictional archive presented throughout the ship.

The foreign environment that the ship resides in is filled with alien flora, fauna, and fungi; glowing trees that interact with audience members, cliff dwellings sprouting mysterious fruits, and creatures that sing alien tunes.

The project incorporates video, live performance and extensive interactive elements to submerge the audience into a fully-operating fictional world.

Designed and directed by Meow Wolf, the installation is a collaboration of over 100 artists, including national and international artists.

THE SHIP SPECIFICS

The ship is 72ft. long, 25ft. wide at its widest point, and 14ft. tall at its tallest point. Motorized parts supply operable motion to the ship. A conglomeration of sails rose to the top of CCA’s Munoz-Waxman Gallery, during a 2011 exhibition of the work.

The interior of The Due Return is explorable through two levels, with 2500 sq. ft. split between 10 different rooms. These rooms include a food garden, lounge, engine room, sleeping quarters, laboratory, captain’s quarters, archive, and control room.

As a result of its non-linear journey through time, the ship becomes a vessel for an unlikely combination of cultural and technological expression. In this way, it is a fertile structure for collaboration.

THE ENVIRONMENT

The audience will experience The Due Return while it is resting in its current dimensional space, an alien world of unknown location at an unknown time. This world is inhabited with glowing trees that react to human’s control, creatures that pulsate and vocalize as visitors wander by, and cliff dwellings that speak of an alien culture.

3500 sq. ft. of walkable, discoverable environment gives the ship a context, enrich its story, and give audience members a magical world to lose themselves in as they enter the space.

INTERACTIVITY

A large aspect of this project is the level of interactivity the audience has with The Due Return and the environment. Hundreds of buttons, knobs, dials, and joysticks populates the ship’s control room with each device serving a functional and relevant purpose. Audience
members can control video surveillance systems, internal and external lighting, various video presentations, live mic’d sound elements, and motorized parts in the engine room and on the side of the ship.

In addition, audience members have the opportunity to interact with the ship, the ship’s history, and the environment through a custom-made iPhone app called Elixir that was created specific to the project. QR Codes allow for added detail on specific rooms and characters within the fiction of The Due Return. The level of interactivity truly makes this art experience stand out from any experience that has come before.

PERFORMANCE ELEMENTS

Meow Wolf has created a fully-immersive environment where performance also plays a key role in creating the illusion that the ship and the ship’s surroundings are alive. Performances
seemingly begin spontaneously, and audiences are treated to choreographed moments of dance, drama, monologue, song, and other experimental forms of performance.

Audiences are treated to 20 vignette-style performances spread across the course of five hours. These performances happen in numerous different locations both on and off the ship, and the
diversity of the performances add considerable depth to the fictional world.

ARCHIVE

The ship’s archive is an interactive combination of digital and physical materials meant to further engage visitors in the world of the ship and its surroundings by blending fictional pieces with research culled from reality.

Within the ship, visitors will have the opportunity to conduct ‘research’ through digital and physical artifacts that help tell the rich fictional story of The Due Return. Library and archival material will be presented through traditional and non-traditional methods, making the archive not only an experiment in narrative, but a playful and focused commentary on the nature of information science, museum studies, and historiography.

The Due Return has traveled through 31 different time/spaces, and 65 characters have lived on the ship over a 150 human-year span. All 31 eras and 65 characters have been fleshed out by a group of 15 Meow Wolf writers.

Meow Wolf: The Due Return

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Untitled, 2011

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The Due Return

The Due Return, 2011

The Due Return

The Due Return, 2011

The Due Return

The Due Return, 2011

The Due Return

The Due Return, 2011

The Due Return

The Due Return, 2011

The Due Return

The Due Return, 2011

The Due Return

The Due Return, 2011


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