The much-anticipated second installment of Desert X kicks off today in Greater Palm Springs! The recurring international contemporary art exhibition, curated by returning Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and 2019 co-curators Amanda Hunt and Matthew Schum, is free and open to the public from February 9 through April 21, 2019.
This year, site-specific art installations and performances throughout the Coachella Valley have been created by: Iván Argote, Steve Badgett & Chris Taylor, Nancy Baker Cahill, Cecilia Bengolea, Pia Camil, John Gerrard, Julian Hoeber, Jenny Holzer, Iman Issa, Mary Kelly, Armando Lerma, Eric N. Mack, Cinthia Marcelle, Postcommodity, Cara Romero, Sterling Ruby, Kathleen Ryan, Gary Simmons and Superflex.
Where is Desert X?
The installations span from Whitewater as the furthest west location, moving east with sites in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Indio, Coachella and Mecca. We’ve broken things up into west valley and east valley Desert X guides to keep things manageable geographically (you can view the companion guide to the east installations here).
Jenny Holzer, Before I Become Afraid, 2019
**Please note that this piece is not available for viewing yet; updated information will be available at desertx.org when avaIlable.
Sterling Ruby, SPECTER, 2019
98-2 Snowcreek Canyon Road, Whitewater
Coordinates: 33.912473, -116.666832
Installation of Sterling Ruby's SPECTER
Julian Hoeber, Going Nowhere Pavilion #1 and Executed Variant DHS #1 (Q1, CJ, DC), 2019
Eliseo Road, Desert Hot Springs
Coordinates: 33.955493. -116.483245
Julian Hoeber, Going Nowhere Pavilion #1
Katie Ryan, Ghost Palm, 2019
Bubbling Wells Road & San Gorgonio Street, Desert Hot Springs
Coordinates: 33.945130, -116.485106
Katie Ryan, Ghost Palm
A: Nancy Baker Cahill, Revolutions, 2019
*PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS INSTALLATION HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO THE RECENT RAINSTORM.
North Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, facing the wind farm and Mount San Jacinto (southwest)
Coordinates: 33.88409, -116.546112
Instructions: Open the 4th Wall app on your phone and tap the Desert X button. You will be directed toward the drawing, which takes about two minutes to rise and unfurl.
B: (located in Salton Sea – included in the east valley guide)
John Gerrard, Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas), 2017, 2017–2019
Coordinates: 33.859118, -116.559933
Park at Palm Springs Visitors Center, 2901 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
John Gerrard, Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas), 2017
Mary Kelly, Peace is the Only Shelter, 2019
A: 333 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs // Coordinates: 33.819063, -116.546868
B: 469-499 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs // Coordinates: 33.816109, -116.545457
C: South Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs // Coordinates: 33.816693, -116.545452
Mary Kelly, Peace is the Only Shelter
Cinthia Marcelle, Wormhole, 2019
A: 152 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs // Coordinates: 33.802688, -116.545396
B: 68895 Perez Road, #15, Cathedral City // Coordinates: 33.782359, -116.460422
C: (located in Indian Wells – included in the east valley guide)
D: (located in Indio – included in the east valley guide)
E: (located in Coachella – included in the east valley guide)
F: Calzzapato, Constitucion 720, Co. Zona centro, 22000 Tijuana, BC, MEXICO // Coordinates: 32.533412, -117.038226
Cara Romero, Jackrabbit, Cottontail & Spirits of the Desert, 2019
Drive north on Gene Autry Trail between Via Escuela and Interstate 10
Coordinates: 33.853965, -116.506052
Cara Romero, Jackrabbit, Cottontail & Spirits of the Desert
Tips before you start your Desert X tour
You can pick up this year's Desert X guide (a handy book with information about each installation and the artists, locations and more) at the following hub locations:
Palm Springs: Ace Hotel & Swim Club, 701 E Palm Canyon Dr, room 119, Palm Springs
Palm Desert: 73660 El Paseo, Palm Desert
Indio: 82713 Miles Ave, Indio
Nancy Cahill Baker's pieces require the use of the 4th Wall app on your phone or iPad. Be sure to download the 4th Wall app while you're somewhere with WiFi connectivity (due to the app's large size you must download it using WiFi rather than your cellular data).
If you would prefer a guided experience, Desert X offers bus tours on Saturdays and Sundays -- get the details here.
Be sure to take note of the installations and performances that have set hours and specific details necessary to gain access -- you'll want to review your itinerary and the pertinent details before heading to those locations.
Some installation locations do not have exact addresses, so you will want to use the provided GPS coordinates (you can do a Google search of the coordinates and a map will pop up -- click on that to get directions).
If the location of an installation is not immediately obvious when you arrive, look for the black and white signs with an "x" on them and follow those to the sites.
Most Instagramable installations
We’ve done the legwork and made our selections for this year's most Instagramable Desert X 2019 installations on the west side of the valley!
1. Katie Ryan's Ghost Tree // The swaying clear palm fronds make for a great Boomerang moment!
2. Julian Hoeber's Going Nowhere Pavilion #1 // The winding structure and pink hue just beg for some creative Instagram content.
3. Sterling Ruby's SPECTER // The neon orange monolith appears to almost float in the desert.
Katie Ryan's Ghost Palm
Julian Hoeber's Going Nowhere Pavilion #1
Need a break?
The installations are pretty spread out, so you may need to make a few stops along the way for refreshments. A few spots to check out while touring the west valley installations include:
Windmill Market in North Palm Springs for date shakes and beverages
Ernest Coffee in Palm Springs for coffee and tea
La Bonita’s in Palm Springs for tacos
Be sure to also check out our guide to the east valley Desert X 2019 installations! Happy art-hunting!