Project KURI: Interdimensional Doors in Your Neighborhood?

Interdimensional Doors found in Salt Lake City UT, Phoenix AZ, and Charlotte NC.

Starting on March 27th, a series of “Interdimensional Doors” were erected in cities across North America. No two doors looked exactly the same: a door installed near Salt Lake City Utah’s Gallivan Center featured the kind of traditional wooden door with frosted glass that wouldn’t be out of place as the entry to a professor’s office, while a door along the Piestewa Peak Summit Trail in Phoenix Arizona featured a more minimalist frame painted to look like glimpsing into a nebula of swirling purples and pinks.

While each door was unique in appearance, there were still a few details inextricably linking them together. Along the top of each door, the text “Interdimensional Door” was paired with a seemingly nonsensical hashtag. And underneath that text, a QR code was present that, when scanned, sent curious onlookers to the website ProjectKuri.org.

Interdimensional Doors found in Toronto ON, Vancouver BC, San Francisco CA, and Tierra Del Mar, OR

The Key Unconsciousness Research Institute (KURI) Project
The Project KURI website explains that it is an organization interested in studying how dreams can serve as doorways to alternate dimensions. In order to pursue that research, Project KURI is actively soliciting members of the public to share their dreams. As the organization explains in an Instagram post:

At KURI, we’re turning imagination into exploration. Our dedicated team of scientists, psychologists, and visionaries are pioneering research into the subconscious mind, decoding the messages hidden in our dreams. But this journey is not ours alone – we invite you, dreamers, thinkers, and seekers from all over the world to join us. Share your dreams. Become part of a global community by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

Website visitors are encouraged to share their dreams through a form on the ProjectKuri.org website or to message audio submissions to the project’s Instagram account, with promises that “The Kuri Tapes” will be coming in the near future. Curiously, the site also features a block of ciphered text, with no other explanation for its presence.

Project KURI’s cryptographic message

Untangling this message in particular helps provide a few hints of things to come. And while it’s possible to solve this phrase as if it were an unclued CryptoQuote from the daily paper, there’s a more elegant solution hidden within the doors themselves.

Solving Project KURI‘s Hidden Message
Earlier on, three identifying features were mentioned that flagged doors as part of Project KURI: the text “Interdimensional Doors”, a QR code leading to the Project KURI website…and a seemingly nonsensical hashtag, comprised of a series of numbers and letters.

The Interdimensional Doors, listed out in order

However, once the community identified enough doors, they were able to sort those hashtags by number and spell out a message:

#1TOEXIST
#2ISTOSU
#3RVIVEU
#4NFAIRC
#5HOICES

Or, put together, the phrase TO EXIST IS TO SURVIVE UNFAIR CHOICES – an expression that matches the cryptogram perfectly, providing a translation grid for the cipher language.

The resulting phrase is a popular quote from the first season of The OA, a Netflix series that heavily explored themes of dreams and how they can physically manifest. And while it’s too soon to tell for sure, a number of signs are pointing to Project KURI being a fan game for The OA, in much the same way that Metacortechs was created as a fan game for The Matrix franchise. Members of r/TheOA have even noted the emergence of a door on Treasure Island in San Francisco, a location that was used as the title for one of season 2’s episodes.

Solution grid for the Project KURI cryptogram

Curiously, while more than five doors have been discovered, they merely provided additional instances of the five hashtags that spell out the solution to the puzzle, implying that there likely won’t be another door-based cryptogram to decode in the near future.

There’s No Telling Where This Project Will Go – And There’s Beauty in That
Currently, we know that someone decided to install a series of artfully rendered doors at locations across North America, introducing a fictional sleep research foundation interested in collecting dreams. A message hidden across those doors spelled out a deeply impactful quote, offering a message of encouragement for those who took the additional time to decipher it. And based on the promise of The Kuri Tapes in the near future, that will likely be complemented by a series of audio narratives, featuring people sharing their dreams…including, potentially, your own.

And if that’s the end of the experience, the team behind Project KURI has brought an additional dash of wonder and delight into the world. There are no promises that the experience will do any more than that, and the stray references to The OA could just be an offhand fan homage to a similarly themed property without rising to the level of a dedicated fan game.

An open door that greets visitors to the Project KURI website

But then again, it’s also entirely possible that this project will use their loosely connected network of Interdimensional Doors as the stepping stone to something more. Shortly after the Salt Lake City Interdimensional Door was uncovered, Derick Fox at ABC4 interviewed one of the creators, who explained that the secret behind the letters and numbers “are the first step in a deeply immersive journey that blurs the lines between our waking lives and the unexplored worlds that exist within our subconscious”. They went on to confirm that this project was intended to be an alternate reality game.

Particularly with alternate reality games that have just launched, it’s important to temper expectations and experience the project a creator designed, rather than the one you think they might have created. Because yes, some games go on to run for months verging on years, creating compelling content one could spend countless hours exploring. And other times, creators opt for a few moments of intense spectacle, creating something that was intended to live within the span of a few weeks (or even days). And both of those experiences can be deeply impactful.

To find out what we’re dealing with here, give Project KURI a look at ProjectKURI.org. They can also be found on Instagram. The r/ProjectKuri subreddit was set up to track the game as well. Who knows…maybe a door will open up in your neighborhood too.

All images of Interdimensional Doors were pulled from the Project KURI website – initially, these images weren’t present on the site, and were only added after people spotted them in their respective cities.

1 Comment

  1. bryce

    you look like your good at this. could you help me get started?

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