'Mix-Tape' at The Womb – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Atlas Obscura

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

'Mix-Tape' at The Womb

An interactive installation held in the psychedelic arts center founded by the frontman of the Flaming Lips. 

Drenched with vibrant murals of robots and trippy geometric shapes, The Womb has stood out from anything else in downtown Oklahoma City. 

The arts complex—where you could once find colorful contemporary art shows, music performances, a creative agency, and a store—was the brainchild of Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. Coyne co-started the Womb in 2011 with collaborators Rick Sinnett and Jake Harms, and it was not unusual to see some spare props from Flaming Lips stage shows like a mammoth disco ball or laser-shooting hands. 

The long-running Oklahoma rock band, known for their psychedelic performances involving UFOs, dancing giant rabbits, and earnest music about life and death, has always been visually creative, and this was a place where you might dance in a thick smoke machine fog one night, or see some strange experimental music performance the next. 

The exterior main mural by Maya Hayuk was just one of the many rotating art experiments, including an actual “womb room” inside where you entered a not-too-subtle recreation of the art complex’s anatomical namesake, and wall paintings by visiting artists, all with the very DIY approach that has characterized the weird world of the Flaming Lips. 

The Womb then sat idle for a few years with OKC residents unsure what was going on with that building. In early 2019, local art collective Factory Obscura announced it would open a permanent installation at The Womb called “Mix-Tape” where the collective would add a 20th-century twist to classic audio autobiography in an immersive, interactive art space. 

With the Womb no longer an empty building, visitors can enjoy an interactive window display called “Boombox” and wander through the Mix-Tape installation. The “womb room” no longer exists, but you can still enter the installation through a giant ear. Inside, you’ll find all sorts of nooks and crannies to explore, maybe you’ll even find the cranny with the ability to telecommunicate with visitors at Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return. 

Know Before You Go

Mix-Tape is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and has regular hours the rest of the week. The outdoor boom box can be accessed any time. There is a $15 per person and an extra $1 for the 3D glasses, which are highly recommended.

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