If Desert X were a fairy tale, the moral of its story would be to always get out of the car. That’s because with each of the 20-ish installations scattered across 50 square miles of town and dune from Snow Creek to the Salton Sea, part and parcel of the experience is the approach. The searching, spotting from a distance, figuring out how to get out there, watching it grow nearer, then ditching the car and doing the last quarter-mile on foot — it’s all requisite.
Not only the work of art itself is for consideration but also the temperature of the air, the sudden rain and double rainbow, the sun high overhead or dipping behind a ridge, the weight and noise of rushing wind, the softness of sand underfoot — all of this is as much a part of the work as its resins, petals, pigments, code, steel, stucco, wood or cloth. That’s the nature of land art as a rule and of this project in particular, whose raison d’etre is to unpack, resist and enhance the qualities of its place.
Coachella Valley locations, Feb. 9-April 21; free. desertx.org. There’s also a map-based app and a podcast.
Since L.A. Weekly first covered the project’s launch in June, For Freedom has placed more than 150 billboards, created by 400-plus artists, in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. In Los Angeles, we have two billboards: one by Rashid Johnson and one by Paula Crown.
With the consequences of the last election being beaten into us every moment by an endless barrage of news alerts and outraged social media posts, For Freedoms is launching a new program to remind people they can make a difference on Nov. 6. The new 50 States initiative is a nationwide public art and political engagement campaign that will pair more than 200 cultural institutions with 175 artists across the country to create things like billboards, town hall meetings and special exhibits, all to inspire voting in November’s midterm elections.
Fifteen billboards spaced out over the Los Angeles area are spotlighting the issue of homelessness with some wordplay using the famous Hollywood Sign. The billboards, put up last week, are part of a campaign by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Michael Weinstein peers out the window of his corner office on the 21st floor. Hollywood is growing all around him. In every direction, there are construction cranes, dirt pits and street closures. "It's just ungodly," he says. Two blocks to the north, on the east side of Argyle, a construction...
Alcohol advertising has been banished from city owned and controlled property. Sort of. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously yesterday to prohibit such ads, making L.A. "the largest city in the U.S. to disallow alcohol advertising on public property," Jorge Castillo of the group Alcohol Justice told us. However,...