Huffpost Arts
Eric Minh Swenson Headshot

Forget the Music, There's Art at Coachella (Photos)

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Yes, there actually is art at Coachella. That was my response when most people asked me why I was going to Coachella on my media pass. Most people, even in the art world, seemed surprised that large-scale art is exhibited at the Coachella Music Festival, thinking that sculptural,interactive art of that scale is only reserved for Burning Man.

I had the opportunity and privilege to go on the second weekend, April 18-20, 2014, to do a photo survey of the art featured there. Luckily, for me, the weather was beautiful, and not the devastating heat that is usually associated with Coachella. At one point on Friday, we actually thought it was going to rain on us, due to a creeping thunderstorm over the horizon. Nevertheless, the experience of photographing these unique pieces over the few days there made the miles and miles of walking the grounds worth it.

2014-04-24-1coa.jpg

Escape Velocity by Poetic Kinetics. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-2coa.jpg

Escape Velocity by Poetic Kinetics. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-3coa.jpg

Lightweaver by Stereo-bot. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-4coa.jpg

Lightweaver by Stereo-bot. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-5coa.jpg

Reflection Field by Phillip K. Smith III. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-6coa.jpg

Reflection Field by Phillip K. Smith III. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-7coa.jpg

Reflection Field by Phillip K. Smith III. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-8coa.jpg

Quinoa Shade Structure by Do Lab. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-9ncoa.jpg

Eepert Village by Do Lab. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-10coa.jpg

Becoming Human by Christian Ristow. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-12.jpg

Cryochrome by James Peterson. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-11.jpg

Cryochrome by James Peterson. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-13coa.jpg

2Squared by Charles Gadeken. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-14coa.jpg

2Squared by Charles Gadeken. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-15coa.jpg

Giant Green Caterpillar by Mike Grandaw. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-16coa.jpg

Giant Green Caterpillar by Mike Grandaw. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-17coa.jpg

Balloon Chain by Robert Bose. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-18coa.jpg

Balloon Chain by Robert Bose. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-19coa.jpg

InTentCity by Teale Hatheway. Photo by EMS.

2014-04-24-20coa.jpg

InTentCity by Teale Hatheway. Photo by EMS.

This article is part of an ongoing photojournalism survey of art exhibition openings in SoCal titled EMS N(art)rative. Through my lens I document a photographic essay or visual "N(art)rative" that captures the happenings, personalities, collectors, gallerists, artists, and the art itself; all elements that form the richly varied and textured fabric of the SoCal art world. This reconnaissance offers a unique view for serious art world players to obtain news and information on the current pulse of what's in the now, yet capturing timeless indelible images for posterity and legacy. Here is EMS N(art)rative Eleven.