Desert X weekend of public programming around art, architecture, and community building, May 6 & 7

Last opportunity to view Desert X 2023 before the exhibition closes on Sunday, May 7. (photo credit: Desert X)
Palm Springs, Calif. – Desert X, the recurring, site-specific, international art exhibition will present a weekend of free public programming and special events focused on art, architecture and community-building. Led by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and Co-curator Diana Campbell, Desert X 2023 artists Lauren BonTorkwase DysonMatt JohnsonMarina Tabassum, and Doug Aitken, whose mirrored house, Mirage was presented in the 2017 edition, will be present and participate.

Presented in collaboration with Palm Springs Art Museum and College of the Desert, this last weekend of special Desert X events is the final opportunity to view the fourth edition of the exhibition, which activates the desert landscape through 12 installations by artists from Europe, North America and South Asia. Poetic and immersive works span sculpture, painting, photography, writing, architecture, design, film, music, performance and choreography, education, and environmental activism. The newly-commissioned works make visible, as instruments of self-awareness and devices of wonder, the forces that we exert on the world: how we design our environments, how we live, and the messages we send that reinforce systems that might or might not be beneficial for us. 

Program of events during closing weekend May 6 & 7, 2023
Saturday, May 6, 2023

​​Walk and Talk with Artist Matt Johnson
Artist Matt Johnson and Desert X team members will lead an early morning hike to Sleeping Figure and discuss the installation’s conceptualization, art historical themes, production and more. Botanist Ron Florance will accompany the hike to share fascinating information about desert ecology, geology, and this year’s super bloom.

9:00 – 10:30 am
Matt Johnson, Sleeping Figure
I-10 Exit 110 Haugen-Lehmann Way to Railroad Avenue

Marina Tabassum and Torkwase Dyson in Conversation: Architectures of Survival and Liberation. 
Architect Marina Tabassum, who visits from her home in Bangladesh, will be presenting her film Khudi Bari, commissioned for Desert X 2023. A conversation with Marina Tabassum, artist Torkwase Dyson and Diana Campbell will follow to discuss how their architectural and spatial practices create geometries of inclusion, shelter and freedom. 

2:00 – 3:00 pm
Annenberg Theater
Palm Springs Art Museum
101 N. Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA
Doug Aitken and Neville Wakefield in Conversation: Mirage
This conversation with Doug Aitken and Neville Wakefield will explore the origins of Aitken’s Mirageproject (2017 – ongoing), and the continuum between the inaugural Desert X in the Coachella Valley and its newest exhibition. This program is presented in conjunction with the forthcoming release of Aitken’s immersive monograph Mirage, co-published by JRP|Editions and ZOLO PRESS, in collaboration with LUMA for Elevation 1049.

3:30 – 4:30 pm
Annenberg Theater
Palm Springs Art Museum
101 N. Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA

A limited number of copies of Mirage are available for purchase from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Palm Springs Art Museum bookshop.

Sunday, May 7
Desert X Art Club Exhibition Opening
Join students and teachers from this year’s Desert X Art Club as they celebrate the opening of an exhibition celebrating their creativity and collaboration. Meet young artists and enjoy refreshments and music as students and educators lead tours of the exhibition throughout the afternoon. 

12:00 – 3:00 pm
Desert X Art Club Exhibition Opening
College of the Desert
Marks Art Center
43-500 Monterey Avenue, Palm Desert, CA
Free parking; park in lots 22 and 25
Extended Viewing Hours at The Smallest Sea with the Largest Heart
Enjoy the last evening of Desert X 2023 with extended viewing hours at The Smallest Sea with the Largest Heart by Lauren Bon and Metabolic Studio. No reservations needed; visitors are admitted on a rolling basis.

5:00 – 8:00 pm
Lauren Bon & Metabolic Studio
The Smallest Sea with the Largest Heart
2249 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
No RSVP Required

Full descriptions and installation images of the Desert X 2023 artists’ projects are now available here

Image credits top to bottom: Film still from Marina Tabassum, Khudi Bari; installation views of Matt Johnson, Sleeping Figure; Doug Aitken, Mirage, Lauren Bon, The Smallest Sea with the Largest Heart, all photos by Lance Gerber, courtesy Desert X.

Desert X Visitor Guide and Map 
A special Desert X printed program available at the Desert X Hub at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club contains the map and up-to-date information on how to experience the exhibition and its public and education programs. The map of the 2023 installations can also be found online at and via the Desert X 2023 app.

Leave No Trace
Desert X encourages visitors to follow official Leave No Trace guidelines. Plan ahead and prepare, walk on designated paths, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, respect wildlife, don’t smoke, and be considerate of other visitors.

Desert X Hub at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club 
701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
Stop by to pick up your Desert X 2023 guide, map of artist installations and visitor information. Visit for opening hours during the run of the exhibition. 

Exhibition Hours 
Visiting hours for the installations are usually sunrise to sunset Sunday through Saturday, unless otherwise noted. 

Guided and Docent-led tours
Desert X docents are at most sites every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Desert X Merchandise
463 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
Stop by to browse and buy Desert X merchandise made with Windmill City Printing and other local companies. Visit for hours.

Education and Public Programs
Desert X educational initiatives are a cornerstone of the exhibition’s outreach. Public programs include conversations, site activations, and artist-led workshops, and have connected with more than 10,000 visitors. Since 2017, Desert X has provided 800 cumulative in-class instruction hours to 2,000 students and 50 teachers in the region. In 2023, Desert X is growing the breadth and depth of its reach through expanded learning programs in K-12 schools and community centers in all three Title 1 school districts in the Coachella Valley, internships, and a curatorial fellowship.

For further information and to plan your visit, go to

With support from Hennessy Paradis, Hourglass Cosmetics, and Diptyque.

Additional support from the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Media Partners: artnet, ArtReview, Cultured Magazine, frieze Magazine, Here Media, Palm Springs Life Magazine, Take on Art, Terremoto, and Visit Greater Palm Springs 
About Desert X

Acknowledgement of Native Land
We acknowledge the Cahuilla People as the original stewards of the land on which Desert X takes place. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with the indigenous people in this place. We pay our respect to the Cahuilla People, past, present and emerging, who have been here since time immemorial.

Desert X is produced by The Desert Biennial, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, conceived to produce recurring international contemporary art exhibitions that activate desert locations through site-specific installations by acclaimed international artists. Its guiding principles include presenting public exhibitions of art that respond meaningfully to the conditions of desert locations, the environment and the indigenous communities; promoting cultural exchange and education programs that foster dialogue and understanding among cultures and communities about shared artistic, historical, and societal issues; and providing an accessible platform for artists from around the world to address ecological, cultural, spiritual and other existential themes. Founded on the principles of the Land Art movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, when artists sought to create work outside of the confines of institutional walls, Desert X has, since its inception in 2017, explored new configurations of site-responsive work by artists from around the world creating a new paradigm for the presentation and experience of art that is both unrivaled and accessible to all. 

About Neville Wakefield
Neville Wakefield is a writer and curator interested in exploring the ways in which art behaves outside of institutional contexts. It is his belief that where art is most successful – its most epiphanic and challenging – is not within the white spaces and clean-cut definitions that have traditionally encased it. Rather it is to be found in new territories; hybrid spaces that break free of containment to suggest new paradigms. While a senior curatorial advisor for PS1 MoMA and curator of Frieze Projects he gained a reputation for challenging the conditions that shape art in both commercial and non-commercial contexts. He has worked extensively with institutions in the U.S. and abroad including the Schaulager Switzerland where he curated the ground-breaking Matthew Barney retrospective ‘Prayer Sheet with the Wound and the Nail’ and more recently ‘Divided Landscape’ which placed historical works from the Crystal Bridges’s collection in dialogue with contemporary visions shaped by non-settler indigenous and African American experiences. He co-founded Elevation1049, a site- specific biennial in Gstaad, Switzerland, currently in its fifth edition while maintaining his role as artistic director of Desert X in the Coachella Valley region of Southern California. Wakefield also led Desert X’s iterations in the desert of AlUla, an ancient oasis in Saudi Arabia. His interests in international cultural exchange while focusing attention on the environmental, natural, social and historical ecologies of the desert informed his recent appointment as lead curator of the Noor Riyadh Light Festival and his multiple roles on advisory boards in the Middle East and elsewhere.

About Diana Campbell
Diana Campbell is a Princeton-educated American curator and writer who has been working in South and Southeast Asia since 2010, primarily in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. She is committed to fostering a transnational art world, and her plural and long-range vision addresses the concerns of underrepresented regions and artists alongside the more established in manifold forums. Born in Los Angeles, her maternal family is indigenous CHamoru from the island of Guam and her heritage inspires her curatorial practice which seeks to amplify the reach of indigenous voices. Since 2013, she has served as the Founding Artistic Director of Dhaka-based Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, celebrated both critically for its artistic and scholarly content and for its popularly as the highest daily-visited contemporary art show globally. Campbell also leads the Samdani Art Foundation collection and programming and drives its international collaborations ahead of the opening of the foundation’s permanent home and community-based residency program at Srihatta, the Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park in Sylhet. Concurrent to her work in Bangladesh from 2016 – 2018, Campbell was the Founding Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects in the Philippines, a non-profit international residency and exhibition program with sites in Manila and Bataan, and curated Frieze Projects in London for the 2018 and 2019 editions of the fair. Campbell also serves on the acquisitions committee of KANAL, Centre Pompidou in Brussels set to open in 2025. She is passionate about the role that artistic thinking can play in transformational social change, and is part of the Facilitation Group of Afield, an international network of cultural change-makers. Her writing has been published by Mousse, Frieze, Art in America,and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), among others. 
Exhibition Dates: Now on view through May 7, 2023
Opening hours and locations: Visit for details.
Free Admission

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Source: Desert X

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