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Off-Ramp Recommends: Taking an interdimensional road trip to the desert

by Jesus Ambrosio | Off-Ramp®

"Mirage" by Doug Aitken at Desert X. KPCC/ Jesus Ambrosio

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You only have a few days left to visit Desert X, a site-specific art exhibition in the Coachella Valley.  The showcase features 16 contemporary art installations, spread out in various outdoor and indoor locations in the desert.

 “Curves and Zigzags” by Claudia Comte at Desert X.
“Curves and Zigzags” by Claudia Comte at Desert X. KPCC/ Jesus Ambrosio

Claudia Comte's “Curves and Zigzags” is one of the most mesmerizing. The painting commences with a rigid symmetrical arrangement that gradually transforms into a wavy design.

 “Monument” by Will Bone is an interactive piece, which requires you to crawl into a bunker. A small sign warns: “By entering this artwork you assume any and all risk of injury and or death that may occur. Please do not touch.”

"Monument" by Will Bone at Desert X.
"Monument" by Will Bone at Desert X. KPCC/ Jesus Ambrosio

This warning sign adds to the surreal and claustrophobic experience. The situation only becomes creepier once the underground light sensor detects movement and a small hallway is illuminated at the far end of the bunker.

“Hollow Earth” by Glenn Kaino at Desert X.
“Hollow Earth” by Glenn Kaino at Desert X. KPCC/ Jesus Ambrosio

 “Hollow Earth” by Glenn Kaino -- a bungalow structure -- looks boring at first. But on closer inspection, a keypad lock allows you to enter a small space— and with the flick of a switch you're transported to what seems like a different dimension. This radiant optical illusion is like an infinite wishing well.

“Hollow Earth” by Glenn Kaino at Desert X.
“Hollow Earth” by Glenn Kaino at Desert X. KPCC/ Jesus Ambrosio

Other works include a mirror funhouse, “Mirage” by Doug Aitken; and “The Circle of Land and Sky” by Philip K Smith III. Installations are open daily from dawn to sunset through April 30. Desert X installations require no ticket and are free to visit.

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