Desert X 2019 | Palm Springs

by - 5:11 PM

For years and years - I've been taking people out to Palm Springs / Indio / Joshua Tree / Borrego Springs for "weird art shit in the desert" trips because there are amazing collections like the High Desert Test Sights, the Integratron, Noah Purifoy, Salvation Mountain, East Jesus, and Perris Jurassic Park that have been around for forever. There's something truly spectacular about large installations and found collections created in literally the middle of nowhere that has kept me fascinated for years. It's the connection with nature. It's the ability to tell a complex story with one simple piece that is symbiotic with it's surroundings. It's also honestly just plain fun to art hunt. 

Plus - there's always a stop at the International Banana Museum for a frozen treat that makes it all worthwhile. 

But in the past few years, apparently lots of people have caught onto the idea of tracking down all that "weird art shit in the desert" and it's mostly due to Desert X - an incredibly fun show that invites a collective of artist to come create pieces all over the desert! Sure - there's certainly the "insta" appeal of a lot of these pieces. Sure, it's timing is ripe for Coachella party-goers to catch the perfect selfie. And sure, some pieces are JUST OK and not always worth the trip. 

But there's also a lot of really fantastic things that they do as well. They bring awareness, tourism, and fuel a fun conversation about the true subjectiveness of art. They make you think. They make you talk. Even if the talk is annoyance at the influencer generation - it's still inspiring educated discourse and for that I love it! 

This year at Desert X there are 18 installations and performances running through April 21st (so right through those Coachella weekends) and you can most certainly use the app and map which were great! Make sure to read the history behind the pieces as honestly that was more than half the fun of some of these sites. We didn't quite make it to all of them - but here's some of my favorites.

"A Point of View" by Ivan Argote
Coordinates: 33.53947, -115.92978

"Dive-In" by Superflex
Coordinates: 33.706510, -116.399303

"Specter" by Sterling Ruby
Coordinates: 33.912473, -116.666832

"Revolutions" and "Margin of Error" by Nancy Baker Cahill
Coordinates: 33.88409, -116.546112 ("Revolutions") 
and 33.509095, -115.918007 ("Margin of Error")

"Mosquito Net" by Cecilia Bengolea
Coordinates: 33.5176, -115.93849

"Lover's Rainbow" by Pia Camil
Coordinates: 33.767371, -116.448537

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