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Desert X 2021 


Article by Stacy Conde

Photography by Stacy Conde & Alexis Fleisig

The third edition of Desert X will take place Feb. 6 – April 11, 2021, in and around the Coachella Valley that envelopes Palm Springs. Large-scale, site-specific art installations dotted throughout 40 miles of desert will escort visitors on a treasure hunt that spans city streets to desolate, windswept vistas.

There are no walls and no entry fees. The exhibition is all outside in the gorgeous Southern California weather and it is free to the public. All you need is a map (which you can pick up at one of many Desert X partner sites) and a full tank of gas. You'll be treated to an extensive tour of the Coachella Valley while you check off the installation sites, which are sometimes a bit off the beaten path—which makes it even more fun. Mountains, the area's beloved Joshua trees, windmills and desert sand will provide the picturesque backdrop to your photo moments.

If you are inclined to travel or you are already within driving distance, Desert X will release a visitor guide in compliance with state, county and CDC regulations that will contain up-to-date guidelines and requirements to safely experience the exhibition and the public programs. If you aren't traveling just yet, the Desert X team is planning an enhanced digital experience for 2021 so that you'll be able to participate from home. Follow updates at

In the meantime, before the new artists are announced for this year's event, here are some images from Desert X past:

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Desert X 2017 photos above from L-R: Sherin Guirguis "One I Call", Glenn Kaino "Hollow Earth", Will Boone "Monument"

Above photo: Doug Aitken "Mirage" from Desert X 2019

Pia Camil "Lover's Rainbow" was one of the several pieces from Desert X 2019 that stretched across the border to Mexico (its twin is in Baja). Photo: Alexis Fleisig

Cecilia Bengolea "Mosquito Net" at the Salton Sea for Desert X 2019. Photo: Alexis Fleisig

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Nancy Baker Cahill’s augmented reality pieces for Desert X 2019, “Revolutions” and “Margin Of Error”, revealed hidden art through the lens of a smartphone.