Desert X

About Desert X

Desert X creates contemporary art exhibitions that engage with desert environments through site-specific installations by acclaimed and emerging artists worldwide. Non-prescriptive and exploratory, Desert X encourages discovery, reflection, and connection. Art becomes the road map that gives voice to social, historical, and cultural issues of desert communities.


DESERT X 2023 March 4 – May 7 Coachella Valley, CA

10–12 artists from 8 different countries will present art installations across 42 miles of the Coachella Valley.
A free exhibition open and accessible to the public for 9 weeks.
Global participation through digital accessibility and programming.

Art Exhibitions in Desert Hot Springs



Artist(s): Mario García Torres

Exhibition: Searching for the Sky (While Maintaining Equilibrium)

Location: Pierson Boulevard between Foxdale Drive and Miracle Hill Road, Desert Hot Springs

33.963394, -116.485582

Works by Mario García Torres are inspired by history and the histories of art, which he takes as factual raw material for new narrations, giving famous artworks and cultural icons fresh twists through a variety of media, including painting, photography, film, video, performance and installation. Storytelling, reenactment, report and repetition are few of the strategies García Torres employs in his work, uncovering narratives that highlight the limitation of evidence and the subjectivity of historical records. Attached to the historical settings of his projects, his works bridge past and present by raising awareness about recorded knowledge and excluded content, which often reveal the nature of memory.

The desert is a beautiful and attractive — yet also a dangerous and challenging — place. Searching for the Sky (While Maintaining Equilibrium) carries a reflection on “cowboy culture” that exists across both Mexican and American borders, representative of a macho, self-aggrandizing and forceful control of nature. These qualities also relate to the history of art, especially in the American West. In cowboy culture, and also in land art, there is an asserted promise to harness/control nature, which carries a pronounced risk of failure. In bull-riding, whether with a live animal or its mechanical avatar, competition with a wild beast carries an interest in and celebration of failure. The rider will fail and fall. A cowboy will become a clown. In his installation for Desert X, the artist replaced the bull component of the mechanical bull with a flat, geometric, reflective surface, slowing down the machine’s movement to reveal, little by little, what this object really is. Placed in the middle of the desert, in the formation of a herd, the work leads us to contemplate the “wild West,” and our relationship to landscape and our role within it; our condition to be both attracted and replaced by failure.

Artist(s): Himali Singh Soin (b. Delhi, India, 1987)

David Soin Tappeser (b. Bonn, Germany, 1985)

 Exhibition: Hylozoic/Desires

 Location: Worsley Road between Pierson and Mission Lakes Boulevards

Desert Hot Springs

33.965665, -116.583173

Hylozoic/Desires, or H/D, comprises Himali Singh Soin & David Soin Tappeser, a multimedia poet-musician duo whose work centers around the rhythms of love and the beat of belonging. h/d’s methodology involves research into place and history to develop new speculative futures utilizing the musical tradition of jazz and the literary tradition of poetry. Their practice centers around ideas of time, interdependence and alterity. Their works use rhythm to codify, manipulate and deconstruct linear perceptions of time and hint at intercultural entanglements, parallel histories and extra-human frames of reference.

H/D uses metaphors from outer space and the natural environment to construct imaginary cosmologies of interferences, entanglements, deep voids, debris, delays, alienation, distance and intimacy. For Desert X, they find this metaphor in salt. Inspired by the proliferation of conspiracies — UFOlogists, Scientologists, cybernetic spiritualists, Area 51, flat-earthers, lizard people and chemtrails — h/d has created a wooden pillar that branches into loudspeakers that spew an imaginary conspiracy theory about Namak Nazar, a particle of salt that spells the doom of climate change and offers redemption by looking inward. The particle appears to climb up and crystalize over the trunk of the pole, connecting the salt found in the stories from the loudspeaker to the physical desert landscape, where salt lines forecast droughts and floods to come and salt songs describe the sacred geometry of the desert before settler colonialism.

Visitors are invited to join h/d in thinking through ecological loss and the loss of home, seeking shelter somewhere in the radicality of love in their immersive audio-visual environment.

This artwork is powered by the Sun and SOLARPUNKS.

Artist(s): Tschabalala Self

Exhibition: Pioneer

Location: San Gorgonio Street and Bubbling Wells Road, Desert Hot Springs

33.940884, -116.483980

Tschabalala Self’s work is concerned with the iconographic significance of the Black female body in contemporary culture. Her work explores the emotional, physical and psychological impact of the Black female body as icon and is primarily devoted to examining the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality. Collective fantasies surround the Black body and have created a cultural niche in which exists our contemporary understanding of Black femininity. Her practice is dedicated to naming this phenomenon.

Pioneer is a monument built in homage to the collective foremothers of contemporary America. Placed in the California desert, Pioneer exists as a figure that is simultaneously born out the historical event of America’s creation and one that has an ephemeral quality, untethered by any moment in time. The desert often references both the beginning and the end. Pioneer similarly represents the lost, expelled and forgotten Indigenous, Native and African women whose bodies and labor allowed for American expansion and growth, while also standing as a beacon of resilience for their descendants — a visual representation of their birthright and place within the American landscape. The sculpture celebrates flexibility of the divine feminine spirit and form and the fluidity of identity in contemporary America. It is a reminder that even in the desert, we are born from water. Placed within a palm oasis of the desert, Pioneer poses the question: Does it only rain on wet land?

Generous support is provided by Galerie Eva Presenhuber and Pilar Corrias Gallery. Special thanks to Erica Chang.

Artist(s): Héctor Zamora

Live Exhibition: Chimera

Time of Exhibition: Saturday, March 4

12:00 – 3:00 pm

Location: Desert Hot Springs

 ***This was a live performance held March 4th. Please visit the Desert X website for more information and photos of the exhibition.

Héctor Zamora’s work transcends, reinvents, and redefines the conventional exhibition space, generating friction between the common roles of public and private, exterior and interior, organic and geometric, savage and methodical, real and imaginary. With technical expertise and knowledge of lightweight architecture and an emphasis on the process of conceptualization and construction of each piece, Zamora implicates visitors’ participation and requires them to question the everyday uses of materials and the functions of space. Often collaborating with construction laborers, his work provides opportunities for people to use materials differently and to break the rules to open new possibilities of expression and individuality.

Zamora’s Chimera is a performative action in collaboration with street vendors who are ubiquitous in the Coachella Valley but often invisible in the landscape. The artist’s work provides opportunities for people to use materials differently and to break the rules to open new possibilities of expression and individuality, in this case transforming street vendors into walking sculptures made of balloons, which dissipate as visitors buy and take home the balloons and interact with the vendors in a space of dignity.

Generous support provided by Kai Loebach & Lee Miller and Diane Allen.



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