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Desert X: Art Installation that Transforms Coachella Valley, CA

Desert – Adventure – Knowledge

When you think about deserts, does anything cool pop up in your mind? You would ask, what is so cool about deserts? Would you picture spending a day or two and actually having fun in a desert? Well, against all odds and beliefs you actually could.

A desert is defined as a dry land that receives less than 300 mm of rain annually and has sparse vegetation. They frequently lose more moisture through evaporation, than they receive from annual precipitation. Deserts, as much as they could be challenging to live in, are one of Earth’s major types of ecosystems, which support distinctive plants and animals specially adapted to the harsh environment. It is said that they cover more than one fifth of the Earth's land, and they are found on every continent. Despite the common conceptions of deserts as too hot to chill, there are cold deserts as well such as the Gobi desert in Asia.

I had previously mentioned that you could have fun in deserts, and against all odds and beliefs, right? Let me introduce you to Desert X. Have you ever heard of Desert X? Maybe yes maybe no. Well, what is Desert X?

Desert X is an international, contemporary art exhibition that has literally given the ‘desert’ definition a whole different meaning. Unlike the typical art shows that take place indoors, in best of the best museums, this biennial art show happens outdoor in a desert. It is all about knowledge and adventure – you’d also require wheels to get on with it.

Produced by Desert Biennial, a non-profitable charity organization founded in 2015, Desert X brings together the finest international artists to Coachella Valley with the aim of not only creating art, but to raising awareness of the valley’s environment and it’s natural magical works.

The first edition of Desert X was in 2017 at the Palm Desert in South California’s Coachella Valley near the Palm Springs which proved to be a successful debut. Some of the works that showcased were:

The Circle of Land and Sky by Philip L Smith III.

- It comprises of a 300 mirrored squared posts that are driven into the sand. This work engaged its viewers with space to view and listen to the raw existence of nature with a heightened sense of awareness.

The Mirage of Doug Aitken.

- Indeed looks like a mirage – it is a site specific installation. The sculpture is composed of reflective mirrored surfaces that allows it to blend well with its surrounding.

This year’s Desert X exhibition, opened on 9th of Feb and will run until April 21st 2019. The Coachella Valley is yet again the chosen canvass, including the Salton Sea and Mexico.

Some of the works that are on showcase include:

  1. Gary Simmon’s Recapturing Memories of the Black Ark

- The works serve as both literal and metaphorical for music and performance.

2. Lover’s Rainbow by Pia Camil

- The installation aims at bringing visibility to immigration issues.

Art Curators:

  1. Amanda Hunt

  2. Matthew Schum

Artists participating in the 2019 Desert X installation include:

  • Iván Argote

  • Steve Badgett & Chris Taylor

  • Nancy Baker Cahill

  • Cecilia Bengolea

  • Pia Camil

  • John Gerrard

  • Julian Hoeber

  • Jenny Holzer

  • Iman Issa

  • Mary Kelly

  • Armando Lerma

  • Eric N. Mack

  • Cinthia Marcelle

  • Postcommodity

  • Cara Romero

  • Sterling Ruby

  • Kathleen Ryan

  • Gary Simmons

  • Superflex.

Make sure not to miss out on this. Its all about desert – adventure – knowledge.

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