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Desert X 2019

Desert X 2019: Coachella Valley — Palm Springs, California.

Desert X was a truly great experience and I highly recommend to anyone that has the means should attend. One double edged side of this collective installation is that it’s spread across the Coachella Valley. I attended the week(end) that Valentine’s Day fell around. If you didn’t catch the news on weather that weekend, well, it was intense. However, I think most our nation has had a pretty wet winter, so it’s probably been easy to not notice what’s been happening in other parts of the country. I wasn’t able to visit every piece and some altogether were unreachable due to floods and random bighorn sheep disease. But that’s okay, I didn’t expect to see it all. 

I do hold some contempt over it feeling somewhat trendy and the stream of hipsters parading to and from each piece. I feel for the local artists that most likely are being passed by and praise their efforts in putting up their own work in the midst of this highly acclaimed showing. I don’t know much about the logistics of this or if its frowned upon or what… But sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do. 

As for what I did see, I feel the concepts and ideas were easily articulated and formulated for the masses and the execution was extremely well done. I think that probably comes off pompus or jaded or like I think that they could have done better in some way, but no that’s not my intent. Just to be clear. I think everything came together well and has attracted enough of a crowd for this to keep going into the future. I praise all artists involved and hope to see it grow. Once or twice I will admit maybe I felt some sort of lack luster, but that’s mostly due to my antipaction of everything. So I won’t read anyone for that directly and maintain that fault lies on me. 

I’ll reiterate, GO SEE IT IF YOU CAN! Follow me for more photos and videos of this event and more. Thank you!

 

Selections from Instagram

Western Flag | John Gerrard

Here’s a video clip I put together for those unable to make the journey to the Coachella Valley to experience Desert X in person. Hopefully this gives more dimension and a better feel for this particular piece. Pardon my lack of cinematography and editing skills with fine-tuning this clip, or else it probably wouldn’t ever get posted. The words that overlay in the piece were taken from the Desert X website itself. Link below.

DESERTX.ORG

#NOCHELLA


I’m a little late to the (for lack of a better word) party on this one, but nonetheless, thought I’d share…

A bunch of gay and LGBTQ publications crowed this week over the “super queer” lineup of musicians that will perform at The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. But few of them mentioned that the festival’s billionaire owner, Philip Anschutz, donates money to the venomously anti-LGBTQ Republican Party.

Yes, it’s true that this year’s lineup includes openly queer musicians like Blood Orange, Christine and the Queens, Kaytranada, King Princess, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Smith, Sophie and more.

Villarreal, Daniel. “Just a reminder that Coachella’s owner still funds anti-LGBTQ politics.” Queerty. January 4, 2019.

Who is Philip Anschutz?

Philip Anschutz is the head of The Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the parent company that puts on such festivals as Coachella, Stagecoach, Panorama, Firefly, and Desert Trip. He also owns Los Angeles’ Staples Center (plus a third of the Lakers), NHL’s Kings, and LA Galaxy.

According to Forbes, he’s worth $11.3 billion (as of 1/24/19); ranking #40 on their Top 400 of 2018 list.

Philip Anschutz has reportedly given nearly $200,000 (2010 – 2013) to charities that promote anti-LGBTQ philosophies, though it’s been stated that he and his foundation have since ceased supporting those groups.

On top of that, he’s supposedly donated over $200,000 in efforts against marijuana in his home state of Colorado. The conservative right-wing Republican has also given to anti-abortion and pro-gun charities as well. But honestly, I don’t think I even want to bring that up because I the gun issue to me is very delicate in that not either side has it completely right, in my opinion. But what’s my opinion mean anyway? And the abortion topic, well, I’m not a woman, so I don’t get to make that choice. And I’ll leave it at that.


#NOCHELLA | Rhea & Willam. Skip ahead to about 3:30 on the time stamp… Rhea talks about him some more. But watch the whole thing if you can.

One thing I did read, of which now I can’t remember the source, but supposedly he, I believe the word they used was, disdains Trump. And only gave his 2016 campaign $250.00. No, I didn’t leave off any zeros. Two hundred and fifty dollars. What a bitch slap?!

But bottomline, he supports hate. Now that is probably a bold and harsh statement to make, but if you don’t see it that way, please explain to me how it could be interpreted any other? Seriously. It’s discriminatory and hateful.

Don’t hate, don’t actively try to put people into segregated boxes and divisions because you think less of them. Just don’t think of them, do something constructive for something you do support. Something that DOES NOT hurt, demean, revoke rights of, bully, oh I could go on forever, you get my drift… Don’t be an asshat.

Photo credit: Justin W John, Spring 2007.


More articles and other such reading materials:
Brooks, Dave. “AEG Owner Pulls Financial Support for Some Anti-LGBTQ Groups, But Still Donated $770,000 in 2016.” Billboard. February 1, 2018.
Kennedy, Gerrick. “AEG Live’s ties to anti-LGBT groups ‘nothing more than fake news,’ says Philip Anschutz.” LA Times. January 5, 2017.
Zimmerman, Amy. “Your Coachella Money Is Going to a Right-Wing Billionaire Who Funded Anti-LGBT and Anti-Marijuana Causes.” The Daily Beast. April 13, 2018.

DESERT X

DX19
FEB 9 – APR 21, 2019
Desert X, an international, contemporary art exhibition, will focus attention on and create conversation about environmental, social, and cultural conditions of the 21st century as reflected in the greater Palm Springs area. The Coachella Valley stretches east and south from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea. It is a desert environment, surrounded by some of the highest…

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DESERT X

DX19
FEB 9 – APR 21, 2019
Desert X, an international, contemporary art exhibition, will focus attention on and create conversation about environmental, social, and cultural conditions of the 21st century as reflected in the greater Palm Springs area. The Coachella Valley stretches east and south from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea. It is a desert environment, surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the United States. Long a sacred site and home to the Native American tribe of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, it has become known for tourism, camping, hiking and golf, its rich modern architectural history, as well as for entertainers and politicians who have enjoyed this vibrant area.


DX17
ARTBOUND S9 E2: Desert X
The vast, strange, sometimes contradictory world of the urban desert and its people are explored in 11 public art exhibits and their respective locations scattered throughout Coachella Valley. Art includes Will Boone’s “Monument,” an underground bunker off Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage and Phillip K. Smith III’s “Circle of Land and Sky” in Palm Desert. Desert X is a site-specific biennial exhibition that first took place in the spring of 2017 where artists from different parts of the world were invited to create work in response to the unique conditions of the Coachella Valley.

Visible Difference by Jennifer Bolande | Lance Gerber. Source: KCET


The Chickens in Armando Lerma’s ‘La Fiesta en el Desierto’
For Desert X, Armando Lerma created his own mural on half of the El Tepeyac store. Hear the story of his mural’s chickens, how they came to be in his artwork and the artist’s role as a bridge between those who appreciate art and those who are more geared toward business and commerce.


For more details, visit: DESERTX.ORG

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