Desert X 2019: What you need to know

Desert X returns to locations throughout Greater Palm Springs. 19 contemporary artists from around the world have brought their visions to life through unique installations inspired by the desert landscape. Installations provide a glimpse of the familiar and the unknown.

“It’s a wonderful way to take a new look at the valley’s beauty and go to places you usually wouldn’t go to,” said Amanda Hunt, co-curator, and director of education and programming at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Here’s what you need to know.

When’s this happening?

Right now. Running from February 9 to April 21, 2019.

What’s the cost?

0 dollars and 0 cents. It’s free.

What do I need?

A car, a camera, and a GPS (or a map). Maybe some snacks and water too.

Where can I see the installations?

At various locations around Greater Palm Springs. Put your scavenger hunt cap on and have fun finding the installations. Here’s a list of the locations:

  • “SPECTER”: This one is in Whitewater. Vibrant fluorescent orange casts a shadow on the desert landscape. This geometric sculpture stands in the middle of the desert.
  • “Going Nowhere Pavilion #01”: Located in Desert Hot Springs. A sculpture made of concrete breeze blocks in a variety of pinks and browns. You’re able to get up close to take pictures as well as wander through the pathway.
  • “Ghost Palm”: 20 feet tall sculpture situated in Desert Hot Springs. This is a good one to view at sunset. The leaves are recreated with plastics, becoming visible from the reflections of the sun.
  • “Revolutions”: Located at North Indian Canyon Drive. Be sure to download the large 4th Wall app using WiFi before heading out to this augmented reality experience. You won’t see the “painting” without the app.
  • “Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas)”: Located in Palm Springs. A digital simulation marked by a flagpole spewing an endless stream of black smoke. To get the best viewing of this installation, go in the evening so you can see the digital screen clearly.
  • “Peace is the Only Shelter”: Located at three separate working bus stops at the south end of Downtown Palm Springs.
  • “Wormhole”: In six locations. Occupying empty storefronts in the cities of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Indio and Coachella. When you arrive, you will find a television behind the glass broadcasting another location. On the door, there is a notice stating that they have moved. When you arrive at the next location, you will find basically the same television and notice to another location.
  • “Jackrabbit, Cottontail & Spirits of the Desert”: Photographic series of four billboards that respond to the ancestral lands of the Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, Serrano and Mojave people. Located in Palm Springs.
  • “Lover’s Rainbow”: In Rancho Mirage. This multi-hued rebar is a photo favorite, and crosses the border, with an identical “Rainbow” in Baja’s beautiful Guadalupe Valley wine region outside Ensenada.
  • “Surrogates”: In Rancho Mirage. This film-set prop of a refining facility and accompanying text describing the movie in which it appeared was inspired by the Sunnylands Center & Gardens.
  • “It Exists in Many Forms”: The Wave House. A sound work inspired by conversations between artists and owners of midcentury homes in Palm Springs.
  • “Dive-in”: In Palm Springs. The artist behind this giant pink coral-like structure would like to remind you that the Coachella Valley was originally named Conchilla by early settlers, meaning little shell, as it was once underwater six million years ago.|
  • “Recapturing Memories of the Black Ark”: In Indio. Doubles as a performance space with sound speakers, live performers, and looped video of past performances.
  • “Visit Us in the Shape of Clouds”: In Coachella. A water tank showcases wonderful images of the American Southwest and beyond.
  • “A Point of View”: This is an interactive sculpture installed at an elevation above the Salton Sea. Messages set in concrete appear in Spanish and English upon each step. The stairs function as sundials representing time in fragmentation.
  • “Margin of Error”: Be sure to download the large 4th Wall app using WiFi before heading out to this augmented reality experience in the Salton Sea. You won’t see the animation without the app.
  • “Mosquito Net”: In the Salton Sea. Colorful characters bring life to the sea. his piece is a consideration of how humans and animals observe each other, including both real and imaginary animal.
  • “Terminal Lake Exploration Platform”: In the Salton Sea State Park Recreation Area. Science turns artistic, with this solar-powered floating laboratory.

View directions and locations on an interactive map.

Plan your visit.