Every year during the second and third weekends of April, hoards of people flock to Indio, Calif., for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. While sets by popular musicians such as AC/DC, Beck, Prince, and Jay-Z leave attendees in awe, half of the event is dedicated to art installations. In the past, architecture students from California schools such as SCI-Arc and CalPoly Pomona have contributed eye candy, as well as Los Angeles–based experimental firms like Ball-Nogues Studio and Aphidoidea. Here are the installations that had us considering a one-way ticket to beautiful art.
Pulp Pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio
Recycled into pulp, paper proves worthy as the fabric to an architectural wonder. Here, Los Angeles–based Ball-Nogues Studio formed to provide shade, by combining the reclaimed mixture with rope and pigments. Completely recyclable after the festival, this is a perfect example of form meeting function, presented in a distinctively artsy fashion. When lit up in varying bright colors at night, the installation takes on a coral-like appearance.
Big Fish by Do LaB
Created by a Los Angeles–based company specializing in environmental art and lighting design, this installation was built specifically for the area space of the regular venue. When inside of the tent, people can dance and get soaked by the heat-relieving water dispensers. The multicolored tents are also sensitive to the natural environment,circling a tree while doubling as art and shelter.
Praxis by Ben Zamora and John Zamora
Sun goes down, Praxis comes alive pic.twitter.com/oJHIXkc0if
— Coachella (@coachella) April 18, 2015
Geometric shapes and tube lighting coalesce, stagnating and nebulous during the day, pairing with the desert’s muted landscape. At night, the angular—and oblique—white and blue strips reveal themselves, towering in the darkness, and emulate the festive surrounding energy.
The Corporate Headquarters by Derek Doublin and Vanessa Bonet
Paneled with clear glass windows, and topped with a fiberglass helicopter, the three-story building created by the Southern California couple specializing in visual arts and design sparked a buzz among the festival’s crowd. However, the vital organs—in this case, frantic hippo-headed humans in what seemed like a normal office environment—stole the show. With the ground floor mailroom, middle management above, and the executive suite on top, the installation was a well-executed parody of corporate America, complete with a billboard advertising "Pond Water: Fragrance for Hippos."
Chrono Chromatic by Aphidoidea
— Gwynne Pugh US (@GwynnePugh) April 14, 2015
Designed by a Los Angeles–based multidisciplinary firm experimenting with design, architecture and art, the mammoth sculpture, a set of two tangent circles made up of unevenly-sized arched pillars, is complete with LED color patterns and sequences that mark the time every hour. During the day, Chrono Chromatic greets newcomers as they enter the festival grounds, providing some much needed shade from the desert sun. At night, playful souls interact with the vibrant colors, exploring the light tunnel, and using the sculpture as a point of reference.
Big Horn Palace by Shrine and Joel Dean Stockdill
The endangered bighorn sheep is indigenous to the Coachella Valley, hence the San Francisco–based artists’ idea to create a “palace” in its honor. Made up of repurposed trash and materials, the oriental shrine comprises of two towering bighorns that appear to be ramming into the palace portion of the installation. For the full effect, wind is required, providing a cacophony of sounds, howling from the dangling bits and pieces that in turn represent the animals’ power.