The Dream House is a nondescript black door located at 275 Church Street, New York 10013. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you could walk straight past none the wiser; those in the know, however, can pass through the doorway into a wall of sound and light and immerse themselves in the dream. The only real notification is a small cryptic white sign reading “The Dream House,” but it’s enough.
The combined immersive art experience is the work of a married couple consisting of composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela. It was created in 1993 and combines 40 years of their work together.
Zazeela has said that the culmination of their combined art forms provides an experience that requires a whole new mode of attention from the visitor. Even a slight move will change the pitches you hear as you move through the resonating sound fields created by Young.
Whilst the sound is fluctuating constantly, the lighting and ambience are created by the accompanying neon pink reflections of light, designed and orchestrated by Zazeela herself. It offers a refuge and a place of relaxation for overextended New Yorkers; the incense-fumed rooms are a meditative space.
The installation is a nonprofit and is donation funded and run by La Monte Young’s MELA Foundation and supported by the Dia Art Foundation, amongst others. It also perhaps owes its continued life to a sympathetic landlord who is a fan of the exhibition.
The exhibition has essentially remained the same for the last 23 years, but occasionally hosts a change from the normal schedule. When they do collaborate with other artists, it remains a multi-platform event, and perhaps it should explore these opportunities some more.