Mirage by Doug Aitken
Blogger mentality sort of warps your mind into doing photogenic things for the blog so that you have content – but what I’ve realized is that while the photos might be cool, sometimes the experience is sort of a bust. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a “yay or nay” segment for a while now, and thought that the perfect start to this concept would be Mirage by Doug Aitken, an exhibit I was lucky to see on my most recent trip to Palm Springs.
What: Mirage is part of a greater exhibit, Desert X, which was a collection of site specific works in the Coachella Valley and surrounding desert area. To quote their official website;
“THE COACHELLA VALLEY AND ITS DESERT LANDSCAPE BECAME THE CANVAS FOR A CURATED EXHIBITION OF SITE-SPECIFIC WORK BY ESTABLISHED AND EMERGING ARTISTS, WHOSE PROJECTS AMPLIFIED AND ARTICULATED GLOBAL AND LOCAL ISSUES THAT RANGED FROM CLIMATE CHANGE TO STARRY SKIES, FROM TRIBAL CULTURE AND IMMIGRATION TO TOURISM, GAMING, AND GOLF.”
When: I looked up Mirage on it’s official website, as the Desert X site said it was closed for the summer. Mirage is closed for July and August (it’s hot AF in Palm Springs, people) but we were able to catch it on the last weekend. They plan to reopen in the fall, I’m guessing once it cools down a bit. You won’t be able to sneak in during the closed hours, as you have to go through a guard booth to get to the exhibit.
Where: You can find directions to Mirage on the website – which I had written down after guessing it would be tricky to get to. However, when I looked on the map, I saw there’s a clear little marking of “glass house” in my map app – so save yourself a headache and just click that.
Parking: is free! Just watch out for rattlesnakes. (Seriously.)
Crowds: We got to Mirage at about 3:40, when it had opened at 3:30 and it was decently crowded but not crazy. This was partly because it was about 102 degrees outside, and partly because we got there when it opened. It was a good crowd of people – happy to take photos for one another, enjoy the space and be aware of other peoples’ experiences too. There were no kids present (again probably due to the heat) so it was cool to silently take in the experience of the desolate desert landscape.
How I Found It: Through scanning geotags on Instagram, and once I saw it - from searching for more information on Pinterest. Check my ever growing travel board for more inspo.
So, ooh or nahh? For the first “ooh or nahh,” I’m voting this as an “ooh!” I’d 100% visit this again. The view was breathtaking, the crowd wasn’t overwhelming and it was definitely a unique experience.