Art, Architecture – At the Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival, Californian artist and activist Cristopher Cichocki has created a bandshell-shaped pavilion peering into his ongoing exploration of water and the history of the desert. Named Microscape, the architecture nests a lab where scientists and artists generate experimental video paintings by manipulating the Salton Sea’s water, salt, barnacles, and algae under microscopes.
- RELATED STORIES: Read more about Coachella Festival on Archipanic…
The artworks created in the lab are projected in real-time while atmospheric soundscapes resonate through the structure’s 25.000 white PVC tubes. The pavilion amps up with the artist’s ever-evolving audiovisual performance Circular Dimensions when the sun goes down.
“I wanted to create socially interactive work, something that was not only immersive but that would transform from day to night.” Cristopher Cichocki told Archipanic. “Microscape was a sanctuary of shade and relaxation in the daytime, with a stage where I created sound collages that combined field recordings of natural and industrial sounds. At night, the pavilion became activated through vibrant lighting, dimensional video mapping, and pulsing sonics.”
Due to its orientation, the pavilion created shade while the PVC tubes allowed ventilation. The sun also played an interesting role. Throughout the day, you could see the gradient on the PVC pipes shift depending on the sun’s location. At times, depending on where the viewer was located, the piece appeared almost invisible, akin to a desert mirage.
“Many aspects of the desert and the inevitable tension with water issues are present in my work.” Two side tunnels in the pavilion featured sculptures showcasing resin-cast aloe vera painted in fluorescence illuminated under UV blacklight, referring to the “desert abyss.” “The surrounding desert in the Coachella Valley was once submerged underwater. Thus the indigenous flora of the desert can be considered surviving seeds of an ancient ocean.”
Photos by Lance Gerber and Julian Bajsel, courtesy of Coachella Valley Music & Art Festival.