View Stunning Art & Installations at Desert X

Desert X is an annual contemporary art exhibition held in the Coachella Valley. The exhibition focus’s on the valley's environment through the display of works by emerging artists. These art exhibitions are placed all over the desert near Palm Springs, California. In this post, I’ll highlight a few of the exhibits we’ve visited over the years. There are new art artists and installations every year.

To Get There

This take place in the Coachella Vally, in the Palm Springs area. You can download an app with all the locations.

When To Go

Check Desert X site, but usually this takes place March - May each year.

Desert X Installations

‘Spector,’ by Sterling Ruby, 2019

‘Spector,’ by Sterling Ruby, is a vibrant, glowing orange-red box sitting amongst the desert landscape. It’s especially striking against the snowy San Jacinto mountains, a beautiful juxtaposition. It feels surreal in in the space, as if it has been painted onto the landscape.

Desert X 2019, ‘Spector,’ by Sterling Ruby

Desert X 2019, ‘Spector,’ by Sterling Ruby | Subject: Jenna Blake

Desert X 2019, ‘Spector,’ by Sterling Ruby | Subject: Jenna Blake

The Dive-In, by Superflex, 2019

The Dive-In, by Superflex, was built as a reminder that Coachella Valley was supposed to be called Conchilla Valley. Conchilla come from Spanish meaning “Land of the Little Shells.” The area was once underwater, and still has fossilized marine life within it’s layers. The reason for the name change was just a misspelling of the printed document sent out to advertise the new town, and once it was out they just decided to go with it.

This installation is pink because fish gravitate towards this color, and the structure looks like a large geometric coral reef among the warm tones of the desert.

Desert X 2019, The Dive-In, by Superflex

Desert X 2019, The Dive-In, by Superflex

Desert X 2019, The Dive-In, by Superflex | Subject: Chelsea Gildea

Desert X 2019, The Dive-In, by Superflex | Subject: Chelsea Gildea

Desert X 2019, The Dive-In, by Superflex

Desert X 2019, The Dive-In, by Superflex

Lover’s Rainbow, by Pia Camil, 2019

Lover’s Rainbow, by Pia Camil, has a rainbow in both the U.S. and in Mexico. The rainbows were created to shed light on immigration. The rebar symbolizes development, but also the abandoned dreams often seen throughout Mexico. The rainbows encourages us to look at the other perspective. This is easy for me to relate to because my grandparents immigrated here when my dad was a kid, looking a better life in California.

“Never Forget” by Nicholas Galanin, 2021

This massive 45 foot structure references the infamous Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, which promoted whites only development. This sign was made to promote a land back movement to encourage transferring land titles back to local Indigenous communities.

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