A feature of the map includes descriptions of the pieces, but no photos. This really generated anticipation and excitement surrounding the search. I felt like I was always looking, never knowing really what to expect.
As Doug Aitken's Mirage was one of the first stops, I assumed the other pieces would have an equally large crowd surrounding it, thus making it more apparent to find. This is when the artists of Desert X began truly surprising me. Immediately leaving Mirage, we traveled just down the road to Gabriel Kuri's Donation Box. Very deceiving in its nature, I had spoken to multiple people who couldn't even find it and gave up looking. The piece is located in a strip mall, filled with working businesses. There is a parking space with a sign in front with an "X" and the title, This is your only clue to look up and notice this store front is actually abandoned. This leads to looking through the grimy windows into the store front, only to be shocked at the scene inside. In this 2000 square foot space, the entirety is covered with the familiar sand of Palm Springs, with hundreds, if not thousands of cigarette butts sticking out all over the landscape. It felt as if looking in upon a smaller version of Palm Springs or a decoy of another world entirely. Surreal and strange, this work was unforgettable to me.
We continued in our search, moving on to Jennifer Bolande's piece on Gene Autry Trail. As we drove this long stretch of road, we were looking out into the desert for whatever it was supposed to be. We drove the whole length once. Turned around and headed back to look again. Almost at the end again, we finally looked up! As we drove down the strip, there was a successive beat of billboards all displaying photos of the landscape that is already in front of you. The striking mountain range that encases the desert itself. Each billboard matched a piece of the landscape so as you drove they continued to line up.
The magnitude of the work just astonished me and I couldn't believe I had completely not noticed them before. These pieces were literally changing my way of viewing art itself and I could not contain my enthusiasm to continue....