Coachella Valley was once covered by water; a vast inland sea that early maps called ‘Conchilla’, from the Spanish word for seashell. Now desert, the valley today plays host to Desert X, a biennial exhibition that features artworks set across 55 miles of land.
The contribution of Danish art collective Superflex to this year’s edition is a coral reef inspired installation titled ‘Dive-In’; a reference to the history of the location, and the dangers of rising water that we face due to Climate Change. With a color palette and texture that draws as much from Palm Springs as it does from coral, the luminous pink monolith was designed to be “equally attractive to human and marine life”. Rasmus Nielsen, one-third of Superflex, is a freediver, whose work in the South Pacific with marine biologists led to the bright color choice for the installation. The pink of ‘Dive-In’ is the color that encourages coral growth. In an interview with Desert Sun, Neville Wakefield, the artistic director of the biennial, explained, “The Superflex piece is sort of a strange anticipation of what the valley would look like or be like, submerged again, and what kind of architecture we’d leave behind that would encourage marine life to re-inhabit it”. Until the conclusion of Desert X (April 29, 2019), weekly screenings are being held at the site, projected against the coral-like mass. You can find the movie schedule here. Entry to Desert X is free.