Desert X 2019EXPAND
Desert X 2019
Lance Gerber

Save Room for Desert X: Participating Artists Announced

Desert X is less of an art fair and more of a biennial land-art festival, with site-specific artworks happening at something like 20 wildly varied sites across Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and the Salton Sea. It's on view from Feb. 9 through April 21.

Until this morning, this edition’s roster of participating artists had been a closely guarded secret. Here are the Individual artists and arts collectives planning incursions into the land and the mythology. It includes painters, sculptors, performance artists and a sizable contingent from the technology intersection, especially in the AI and XR areas.

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Exactly what each artist will be doing on his or her project sites is still basically secret (watch this space for a report from the media preview happening Feb. 7-8), but in the meantime you can poke around their Instagrams and get a sense of what they might be thinking.

Iván Argote @ivan_argote
Steve Badgett & Chris Taylor @land_arts
Nancy Baker Cahill @nancybakercahill, @4thwallapp
Cecilia Bengolea @ceciliabengolea
Pia Camil @piacamil
John Gerrard @johngerrard.inst
Julian Hoeber @julianhoeber
Johannes Helden @astroecology
Jenny Holzer @jennyholzerstudio
Iman Issa #imanissa
Norma Jeane #shybot
Hakan Jonson #hakanjonson
Mary Kelly #marykelly
Armando Lerma @chiefs_sign_painting
Eric N. Mack @ernatmack
Cinthia Marcelle #cinthiamarcelle
Postcommodity (Twitter): @Postcommodity
Cara Romero @cararomerophotography
Sterling Ruby #sterlingruby
Kathleen Ryan @katieryankatieryan
Gary Simmons @garysimmonsstudio
Superflex @superflexstudio

Desert X 2019's curators are Neville Wakefield, left, Matthew Schrum and Amanda Hunt.EXPAND
Desert X 2019's curators are Neville Wakefield, left, Matthew Schrum and Amanda Hunt.
Daniel Hojnacki

2017's inaugural edition saw sculptural works, architectural interventions, performances and happenings in mostly outdoor locations in the towns and so-called empty spaces in between, from nature reserves to abandoned homes, vacant storefronts, billboards and hotel rooms. With today’s artists announcement, the curatorial team of artistic director Neville Wakefield (who helmed the inaugural in 2017) and co-curators Amanda Hunt and Matthew Schum is clearly signaling an expanded field for 2019, as the artists enact a range of creative responses to the climate and geography, the indigenous history and spiritual significance, along with pop cultural tropes of the desert, as both a place and an idea.

Norma Jeane, Shybot at Desert X 2017EXPAND
Norma Jeane, Shybot at Desert X 2017
Lance Gerber

Coachella Valley locations, Feb. 9-April 21; free. desertx.org. Desert X "hubs" with maps, merch, the newly released Desert X 2017 catalog and, hopefully, bottles of cold water and sunscreen, will be open in the towns of Indio, Palm Desert and Palm Springs.

Grand opening party, Friday, Feb. 8, 5-7:30 p.m.; $125.
Bus tours: Every Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.; $75.

Special event: Desert X and Palm Springs Art Museum will present "Desert, Why?" a three-day symposium celebrating art and the environment, from March 1-3.

Desert X

Armando Lerma at Desert X 2017EXPAND
Armando Lerma at Desert X 2017
Lance Gerber


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