This year’s selection of creative talent has several veterans of the program, including the U.K.-based art and design studio NEWSUBSTANCE, Los Angeles-based creative team Do LaB, New York-based artist Robert Bose, and Raices Cultura, a 501C(3) nonprofit based in Coachella, California. Each of them presented memorable installations in previous years, such as NEWSUBSTANCE’s 2018 Spectra, a multicolored ramp tower that later won AN’s 2018 Best of Design Award for Lighting—Outdoor, and a chain of balloons hovering over the festival grounds by Robert Bose.
The majority of those presenting in this year’s festival, however, are newcomers that will likely bring fresh ideas to the site. Included on the roster is Oana Stănescu, a New York-based architect and cofounder of Family, whose most notable experience includes stage designs for Kanye West and retail spaces for Virgil Abloh’s clothing brand Off-White. Dutch designer Kiki Van Eijk and multidisciplinary artist Cristopher Cichocki will both bring their trademark interests in natural forms to their installations. Buenos Aires-based architecture firm Estudio Normal will likely adapt their materially-sensitive practice to the grounds, while New York- and Rome-based firm Architensions will likely create an experiential space unique to their practice’s research on social behaviors.
The art installations have been an integral part of the three-day music event since 2010, when festival owner Goldenvoice Productions decided to commission art after increasing their arts budget. A wide range of artists and architects have been given the opportunity to design installations in previous years, including architects Bureau Spectacular, Francis Kéré, and Office Kovacs, as well as artists including Olalekan Jeyifous, Dedo Vabo, and Sofia Enriquez.
“Building on our art program with designers, architects and visual artists from around the world and from the Coachella Valley allows festivalgoers to explore shared global interests and perspectives through the experience of ambitious and one of a kind, large-scale installations”, said Paul Clemente, art director of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, in a press release. “The artists and designers invited this year are all active and respected voices in their communities at the nexus of today’s cultural conversation. Their works have rigor–challenging urgent issues and ideas while balancing the requirements of scale and function with playfulness and wonder.”
All of the installations will be on display and in use during both weekends, from April 10 to 12 and April 17 to 19.