Finally, A Hotel as Weird as You: Lightning in a Bottle's Lightning Inn

Article by: emily ward

Tue June 28, 2016 | 00:00 AM

There is no lack of opportunity to play around at Lightning in a Bottle. Interactive experiences await festies around every corner and this year, within the festival, there was another host in town: The Lightning Inn. A story-driven, conceptual experiment from Los Angeles-based art collective The Imagine Nation , the Inn played host to festival travelers looking to solve a mystery, escape the music, get a little weird and have a lot of fun. 

Lightning In A Bottle 2016 Aaron Glassman   171

Photo by: Eric Allen

Directed by Justin Gunn, the video above gives us a behind-the-scenes peek at the work the crew put into building the Inn from the ground up. After greeting the bellman, visitors were given little instruction but to explore, wander from room to room and pick up clues along the way. Those clues were hidden behind picture frames, under pillows, in bathtubs and in a random alcove full of stuffed animals tied to the wall and ceiling. Why didn't the maid make the bed before you arrived? Why was the bathroom such a sloppy, suspicious mess? After the mystery was solved, (... or not solved, depending on your late-night ability to follow a plot...) the final room hosted a blacklit bar with picklebacks and nitro maté before heading back out into the festival. 

Imagine Nation member Prescott McCarthy firmly believes that "interactive installations are a beautiful, inevitable progression of art. Why? Because the creative revolution has begun, and people don't want to just sit back and watch anymore. We all want to be part of the process. Part of the magic...And the more mystery, problem solving, confusion, and hidden secrets the better, in my opinion. Not just a momentary step outside reality, but a leap into the unknown. That's interactive art. That's the future."

Lightning In A Bottle 2016 Kristina Bakrevski

The playful, quirky, shapeshifting environment inside the Inn was a highlight for the thousands who passed through its doors, and another success for the whimsical Imagine Nation crew.