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This ‘tube coupling’ speed dating event may just be the weirdest thing at SXSW this year

Katey Psencik
Courtesy Meow Wolf

Ever heard of an experience tube? Well, it’s a thing, and it’s at South by Southwest this year.

Apparently it’s some sort of fabric contraption for two people, with a hole at either end for each user to put their face into. And then to each other? The jury’s still out on what exactly this thing is supposed to do.

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But if you’ve got a SXSW badge, you can try it yourself on Sunday at Empire Control Room and Garage. The folks behind Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe-based arts and entertainment collective, are bringing this “upgraded attempt at speed dating” to Empire between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday. You’ll have five minutes to stick your face in a giant tube and talk to your mystery partner. Will you find love? Probably not. Will you smell each other’s breath? Most definitely.

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According to event organizers, “Each tube conversation comes with complimentary breath mints and scintillating questions developed by our scintillating question experts!”

The fabric tube is obviously some sort of commentary on app-based dating, or perhaps on how much time we spend with our faces buried in our phones rather than actually having conversations with those around us. But if you’ve ever wanted to be uncomfortably intimate with a total stranger, you may as well do it for the sake of art.

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