Somewhere below the Earth’s surface, a mere 6m from the strutted ceiling of the chamber, I inhale a healthy humus scent of clean, moist soil. Suddenly there is absolute darkness — a dank, subterranean emptiness. It lasts just a few moments, but it’s an experience of total disorientation. And yet there is something else, too — something more difficult to describe. A connection, perhaps. A weird surge of emotions, a pensiveness emanating from the unfamiliar setting.

Set at the intersection of engineering and magic, geology and architecture, Earthbox is a hollowed-out underground space with nothing to guide your eyes besides an arrangement of lights that illuminate the walls — and then leave you in darkness. It’s a first-of-its-kind immersive experience in Somerset West, an interactive art installation, perhaps. ..

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