An artist enclave and celebrity hiding spot less than two hours east of Los Angeles, the vast and often oppressively hot Coachella Valley is an expansive and picturesque landscape brimming with myth and history.
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For this reason the desert is a fitting home to multiple music festivals, and now, an art installation that spans 45 miles of the California region. Overlapping with country music festival Stagecoach, Desert X (short for Desert Exhibition of Art) will host 16 original installations, all celebrating and reflecting the topography and beauty of the desert, from now through April.
Stretching from Whitewater Preserve to Indio, visitors will witness mammoth works of art, like Doug Aitken’s “Mirage,” a structure made of mirrors inside and out, camouflaged in its surroundings of boundless sand and sky. Jeffrey Gibson’s sculpture made from a blade of Palm Springs’ iconic wind turbines is on view at the Palm Springs Art Museum as part of the event. Throughout the exhibition, a robot called “Shybot,” created by artist Norma Jeane and San Francisco art and tech group Codame, will be outfitted with a camera as it journeys across the desert (the footage will screened locally following Desert X).
Visitors can start the expedition at the Ace Hotel, where a map of the artwork can be found for a self-guided tour. Viewing the artwork is free to the public.