A Throwback to Desert X

Desert X is a contemporary art exhibition built-in the Coachella Valley formed by Desert Biennial, a charitable organization. So sad to report that most of their exhibits have been permanently shut down. Residents did not like the excessive traffic and loud noise from visitors coming from the Coachella music festival and voted to tear it down. Luckily I was able to view two exhibits when it first came out maybe a year ago. I was able to find “The Mirage” and “The Circle of Land and Sky”. I say find because these art installations were scattered like a scavenger hunt and you had to try to find them throughout Palm Springs.

First one I went to was, “The Circle of Land and Sky” by artist Phillip K Smith III. This installation displayed two prominent eye-catching aspects — land and sky, using 300 geometric reflectors. You were able to take amazing pictures here because you were able to see the reflections of the desert scene in the background and if you were lucky you were able to capture the sunset reflecting off the mirrors. As I recall, not many people came until it got more popularized, so I was able to get pictures without anyone in the background. The natural colors of the sky made the pictures so fascinating to view, see for yourself.


“The Mirage” was my favorite exhibit. Right when we parked and seen the house from afar, it looked unreal. Literally looked like an illusion in the middle of the desert with the desert landscape reflecting off mirror panels. Exhibit was created by artist Doug Aitkens.┬áThe art installation is a ranch-style house located near the San Jacinto mountains and surrounded by rocks. If you were to stand right in front of the house, it almost looked invisible. There are mirrors all over the house and in the inside. The structure is supposed to function in response to the landscape around it. There is no furniture inside and no doors or windows, so you can just bask in the desert views at each turn.


Too bad these art exhibits can no longer be viewed, but you can always check out more art from Phillip Smith and Doug Aitkens on the links above. Their art is available to view at other locations. Thank you.

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