Photos: Immersive Visuals and Self-Reflective Art At Coachella 2017
Coachella is officially the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival, so among bands like Radiohead and the style choices of festival attendees are a variety of large-scale art exhibits to provide immersive and tangible experiences between the bands' sets. This year's art includes a 360 degree sensory experience, massive and colorful stucco sculptures, and art examining the role of self-reflection.
Raffi Lehrer, the Goldenvoice Associate Art Director, told LAist, "Our hope is that we can spur a greater interest in visual art at the festival, and even how our patrons incorporate it into their daily life after the show." The art direction of the festival focused on taking advantage of the expansive space of the Coachella Valley and presenting art that would stand out during such a packed festival.
The first piece of art attendees can interact with is The Antarctic. Obscura Digital designed a giant dome and an 8-minute 360º projected audiovisual experience called Chrysalis, with an additional short video by artist Android Jones. The visuals cycle every ten minutes, and that short time immerses attendees in a psychedelic world inspired by the desert and human anatomy.
Chiaozza Gardens is a group of massive, colorful stucco sculptures built by Brooklyn-based artists Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza with help from their artist and carpenter friends. Meant to evoke a "renewable sense of wonder," the sculptures create a trippy dreamscape in plain sight.
Crown Ether is an elevated treehouse from artist Olalekan Jeyifous. It sits above the ground and is physically inaccessible despite providing shade for the ground below it. It interacts with the concept of public architecture and space while also reminding the people standing below the treehouse that experience exists within communal gathering.
Lamp Beside The Golden Door is a work from Gustavo Prado using reflective surfaces to transfer the isolation of a mirror selfie into a collective experience. The name comes from the last line of Emma Lazarus' poem The New Colossus, which describes the experience of encountering the Statue of Liberty as an immigrant to America. People huddling around his art, seeing their faces reflected alongside each other, evokes the similar experience of immigrating to America en masse.
Is This What Brings Things Into Focus? comes from artists Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan, who both represented Scotland in the Venice Biennale. Their massive animalistic sculptures are meant to encroach into every possible photo at Coachella, forcing attendees to recognize what it is they're trying to capture, and why their sculptures interrupt the experience.
The large-scale experiences will be on display during Weekend Two as well.