NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - In a secret forest in the heart of Chelsea, you can kick back by a campfire, watch the stars, and listen to the sound of crickets. It has one catch, though: you have to go in alone.
"When you're by yourself you're actually experiencing so many things—the sound, the smell," said Rachel Lee Hovnanian, an artist who created the life-like installation at the Leila Heller Gallery, just off the West Side Highway.
Hovnanian calls the installation the Nature Deficit Disorder Immersion Room. It aims to give people an opportunity to experience a world outside of Wi-Fi and social media.
"I'm so addicted to this," she said, holding up an iPhone, "that I don't even know I'm picking it up when I'm picking it up."
Before entering the NDD Immersion Room, you have to turn over your cell phone to be locked up with a key. Then you pick up a lantern and you're on your way into the forest.
The Immersion Room feels and smells like a real forest. It has 23 trees, ranging from 6 to 11 feet in height, and contains real crickets.
"I'm trying to activate all senses," Hovnanian said.
The NDD Immersion Room will be up and running until mid-April.
NDD Immersion Room | Leila Heller Gallery, 568 West 25th Street New York, NY 10001 | 212-249-7695 | www.leilahellergallery.com