Desert X 2019
This isn’t a normal Palm Springs post (if that’s what you’re looking for, click here). But this also wasn’t a normal Palm Springs trip. Normally on a weekend in Palm Springs I’d spend 80% of my waking hours lounging and the other 20% eating. This time, however, Ben and I drove around the Coachella Valley checking out contemporary art exhibits planted in the middle of the desert. It was awesome. The reason for all that artwork hanging out among the sand, wildflowers, and palm trees? An exhibition called Desert X.
Wtf is Desert X?
Desert X is a biennial event where artists from all over the world create art pieces to be displayed in the desert in and around Palm Springs. Its focus is on the unique natural setting, as well as socio-political-economic issues. Desert X started in 2017, making this the second event ever, and while I missed the inaugural edition, I absolutely loved this one.
Ok, so how do I go?
This year’s Desert X is happening from February 9 to April 21, which means you have 20 more days to go see it as of today. If that’s something that appeals to you, make sure you check out the Desert X website and app. The app was an absolute lifesaver, as it made it incredibly easy to navigate to each remote piece. It features a map with a marker for each exhibit. There, you can learn a little about it, then route to it. So super helpful. There’s also a podcast that interviews the artists behind some of the exhibits and an augmented reality app called 4th Wall that you’ll need in order to fully experience some.
I’d also recommend stopping at a “hub” if you make it over to the event. Each hub has booklets and merch, along with volunteers who are more than happy to help you plan your day. The woman we spoke to gave us lots of insight into planning our route through the desert, and also provided information on special events. She also gave us a heads up about the podcasts, which added great context and meaning to the pieces.
Here’s some info on the three hubs:
Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Room 119
701 E Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs CA 92264
Wednesday – Sunday 10AM–5PM
73660 El Paseo
Palm Desert CA 92260
Friday and Saturday 11AM–5PM
82713 Miles Avenue
Indio CA 92201
Friday – Sunday 9:30AM–4:30PM
I’ll let you do your own research on these pieces, but here are few of my favorites.
Dive-In by Superflex
Specter by Sterling Ruby
Visit Us in the Shape of Clouds by Armando Lerma
Lover’s Rainbow by Pia Camil
Jackrabbit, Cottontail & the Spirits of the Desert by Cara Romero
Ghost Palm by Kathleen Ryan
Going Nowhere Pavilion by Julian Hoeber
And that’s it! Much like this pup, I’m exhausted from two days of exploring the desert, so I’m off to bed. But if you visit Desert X, be sure to leave a comment on here or on Instagram! I’d love to know what you thought.