The first week of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival brought a fancy air-conditioned dance tent, R. Kelly, and a sandstorm to the crowds of the Empire Polo Fields in Indio. The art of Coachella may be an afterthought to many revelers, but it's reliably impressive to those sober enough to pay attention--this year's highlight was "Mirage," a 100-foot-long, 40-foot-tall, 80-foot-wide, 6,000-square-foot replica of a Palm Springs-era mid-century modern house. The piece was conceived by Coachella Festival Art Director Paul Clemente after he saw a book featuring Palm Springs's Kaufmann Desert House, designed by Richard Neutra. "[The architecture of Palm Springs is] possibly the greatest single cultural and artistic contribution ever to emerge from this part of the world," Clemente said in a statement. "Mirage" is illuminated at night, with a '70s-era dance party projected onto the windows and swimmers appearing in a "pool" built on the ground floor. During the day on weekend one, most people hung out, ate, and smoked under the house's shade; many marveled at the pool and party scene at night. "Mirage" will be dismantled after this year's Coachella closes out Sunday night.
At least nine pieces from LA artists were featured at this year's festival, including Poetic Kinetics's "Helix Poeticus," a giant snail festooned with graffiti; "Recyclasaurus Rex," Johny Amerika's life-size T-Rex built with reused materials; and "PK-107 MANTIS," a spooky praying mantis that appeared ready to swoop down and eat concertgoers.
· Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival [Official Site]