Crowtopia is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. This off-brand, grossly underfunded version of the Color Factory/Museum of Ice Cream business model is an exciting collaboration between our warehouse’s sketchy landlord and some teenager he paid $50 to help capture the birds with a net.
It all started with inspiration. A few weeks ago, our founder and unscrupulous landlord Dale was casing a property in Brooklyn that he was hoping to buy for cheap and later burn down for insurance money, when he accidentally stumbled upon the 29 Rooms Installation. After making his way through this interactive playground of modern art and experiential design, he was left moved by the fact that people will pay almost any amount of money to spend 45 minutes in staged rooms that exist solely for the purpose of social media content creation.
With Halloween fast approaching and several upside-down mortgage payments also looming, there was no better time than the present to introduce the world to Crowtopia: the perfect intersection of everything that’s wrong with social media and hundreds and hundreds of unvaccinated birds.
According to myth, crows are the harbingers of doom and companions to witches and others who do black magic, and here at Crowtopia, you’ll find things are no different. Because once you enter the sweaty lobby where you’re forced to wait while a group of ghoulish interns cleans up the feathers, blood, and scat from the Crowtopia group who went before you, you’ll find yourself filled with unease and a sense of dread that feels inescapable, particularly after we lock all the doors and exits. It’s time to buckle your safety belts (not provided) because you’re in for one spooky ride!
First, you’ll enter what we call “The Death Mound,” an experience expertly crafted using a pile of shiny garbage that came with the building (it used to be an old sheet metal fabrication plant before all those people died). Here, the crows become absolutely possessed, dive-bombing the pile in search of the most interesting pieces of aluminum filament to attract their potential mates. The scary Halloween-esque part comes in when you try to get between the birds and their prize, since they will stop at nothing short of bird murder to get at them. This particular room is also super haunted with dead factory workers, so watch out for that too.
Next, you’ll find yourself in the Scarecrow Room, the spooktacular centerpiece of our exhibit where we carelessly introduce the birds to the concept of fear. Created by friends of that teenager who trapped the birds in the first place, this unique room full of deconstructed interpretations of the “scare-crow” looks exactly like what you’d imagine would happen if you gave a ream of burlap and a wheelbarrow of loose straw to a group of teenagers on ecstasy.
Step out of the Scarecrow Room, and you’ll soon bask in the wonder of our de-lousing shower, which isn’t as much of an immersive experience as it is a mandate. Since the birds are wild, insect outbreaks happen quite frequently, so we set up this room to keep the health inspectors at bay while we make as much money as we can. But that doesn’t make it any less fun! Feel your youthful exuberance return as you run through this massive room filled with sprinklers. It’s just like when you were a kid, except with way more poison.
Finally, your Crowtopia experience culminates in the Bird Pit, a re-imagined ball pit filled with the corpses of all the crows that have died during the course of the exhibit’s short run. Feel free to let loose and dive right in! Bury yourself in the bodies, and throw the birds up in the air with reckless abandon! They can’t fly because their wings are mostly broken and they’re all very, very dead, but it’s always fun to make-believe.
Now we know what you’re probably thinking: Have the birds of Crowtopia been trained to perform all the spooky things they do inside the warehouse? The answer is no, far from it! All the haunted hijinks they’re getting into — everything from pecking at your hair, to pecking at your eyeballs, to piercing the soft skin covering your essential organs — are completely authentic to the birds’ natural behavior.
In fact, since opening Crowtopia, we’ve learned so many fun and interesting things about our special bird friends. For one, crows are quite smart, and while we’ve always known that birds are capable of using tools, we had no idea how quickly they’d be able to turn these same tools into weapons. Crows also remember faces, not just in the short-term, but long after you’ve left Crowtopia and feel “safe” at home. And most importantly, we’ve discovered that birds absolutely hate immersive experiences, and they tend to take that anger out on you in dark and terrifying ways we are just beginning to fully understand.
But no matter what you end up taking away from your adventure in Crowtopia, one thing is certain; by the time you leave, you’ll see the world in a completely new way. Specifically, victims of the Crowtopia experience have reported seeing intense flashes of light whenever they move, and suffer from complete loss of peripheral vision due to significant, beak-induced trauma to their optic nerves. If that ends up being the case and you plan on trying to sue us, our festive Halloween message to you is: Not our problem — you signed a waiver.
And also, of course, don’t forget to share your #Crowtopia experience with your friends on social media!