Have you heard of Desert X? If you haven’t, it’s ok, you aren’t completely living under a rock. I drove out to Palm Springs back in February and saw some billboards on the side of the freeway that looked like snapshots of the landscape behind the sign. I didn’t think anything of it. Fast forward a few weeks and I learned that these billboards were apart of a multi-project art installation in Palm Springs called Desert X. So if you’ve seen pictures of a house made solely of mirrors, a zig zag wall or giant mirrored posts in the shape of a U all over your social media, that is Desert X.
If you’re still a little lost, here is a brief explanation of what Desert X is. From February through April, the Coachella Valley and the surrounding desert became a canvas for curated site-specific artwork. Basically there were 16 artists that created 16 pieces of artwork spanning over a large portion of the desert. I'm not talking like tiny paintings or sculptures on a pedestal. These pieces of work were life-size and really used the desert as a part of the art.
Unfortunately, I was little late and couldn’t find time to drive out to check all the exhibits out before they closed. Good news! A few of the installations still remain on view. Luckily, the one artwork I did want to see, the Mirage mirror-house by artist Doug Aitken is still open through October 31, 2017.
Mirage is a ranch-style house built solely using reflective, mirrored surfaces. It sort of blends into and disappears into the surrounding desert landscape. The house looks different throughout the day, as the light bounces and reflects the desert scene. It's pretty awesome because it literally just gets lost in the vastness.
To get here is fairly simple. It’s located basically at the beginning of Palm Springs at the top of West Racquet Club Road. If you’re coming from Los Angeles, just take the 10 and get on highway 111 which then turns into North Palm Canyon Drive. When you see the Carl’s Jr. on the corner of West Racquet Road and North Palm Canyon, turn right. Head to the top of the road where the guard house will give you further directions.
Come early for two reasons! First off, it's the summer now, and it's in the desert. It will be hot during the day. I was there at 10am and it was almost already unbearable especially since mirrors reflect heat. Two, come early because it is a limited engagement and one of the only Desert X installations that is still open, meaning it's a popular attraction. The earlier you get here the less of a crowd. That's my rule of thumb in general. Early bird gets the worm!
These are the hours it is open, but is subject to change. So before heading there, check out this site!
Monday to Friday open from 3:30 pm to 7 pm
Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm
Spend the rest of the day or the whole weekend here after! Or at the very least, grab brunch at Cheeky's just down the street. Check out the below for some Palm Springs and Joshua Tree inspiration: