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Desert X 2019 Opening Day

The Coachella Valley art treasure hunt that is Desert X opens to the public today. The installations are scattered from Whitewater to the Salton Sea, making this year’s show the most expansive in terms of locations. It’ll take you two solid days and some off-roading (non-paved roads) to see it all. It’s well worth the travel odyssey. Download the Desert X App and be on your way. If you’re not up for the drive yourself, you can jump on a Desert X bus tour with a docent.

Curated and produced by the Desert Biennial team, Desert X as a concept is like nothing else we’ve seen. The site specific work embraces the area’s history and geography. The art speaks to socio-political-economic issues and it portrays the sights, feels and sounds of the Coachella Valley. Co-curator Amanda Hunt described their intent as “making the invisible visible”. The wind, energy and psychology of this magical place are intertwined with the work, bringing these intangibles to life.

Ivan Argote’s interactive sculpture, “A Point Of View”, is a standout favorite. The scales installed on the Salton Sea’s North Shore provide a spectacular view of the landscape. The messages set in concrete beg you to take your time as you ascend the steps, providing a meditative climb to the summit.

Ivan Argote “A Point Of View” photo: Alexis Fleisig

Pia Camil’s “Lover’s Rainbow” is one of the several pieces that stretches across the border to Mexico (its twin is in Baja).

Pia Camil “Lover’s Rainbow” photo: Alexis Fleisig

Nancy Baker Cahill’s augmented reality pieces, “Revolutions” and “Margin Of Error”, reveal hidden art through the lens of a smartphone.

Nancy Baker Cahill “Revolutions”

The journey to find the installations will take you to places you may not have been before (and likely wouldn’t visit otherwise) … and it’s pure delight. Finding the Desert X sign that leads the way to the artwork is akin to locating the best art easter egg.

We’re going to dig into some of the pieces individually over the next few days. There’s so much to see at Desert X and then so much within each piece. For now we want you to clear some time in your calendar and get ready for a road trip.

Desert X 2019

Produced by Desert Biennial

Through April 21, 2019

Multiple locations throughout the Coachella Valley.

Pick up a guide at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

www.desertx.org

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