Meet Desert X, the exhibition of Desert Biennial, a 501(c) charitable organization founded in 2015. The exhibition is meant to bring attention to the valley’s environment through the display of works by emerging artists. Themes include climate change, immigration, tourism, gambling, and Native American culture.
The participating artists included Doug Aitken, Lita Albuquerque, Jeffrey Gibson, Sherin Guirguis, Glann Kaino, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Julião Sarmento, Phillip K. Smith III, and Tavares Strachan.
Works included a camouflaged house covered in mirrors, an autonomous vehicle known as the “ShyBot” that is programmed to avoid people, as well as an underground bunker with a kitsch sculpture of John F. Kennedy. In February 2017 the robot’s creator, an Italian artist known as “Norma Jeane”, lost contact with ShyBot. All communication was lost, and some thought the art robot was “bot-napped”. In July 2018, an off-roader found ShyBot and through a QR code on the body was able to contact Desert X and facilitate her return.
The participating artists included Iván Argote, Nancy Baker Cahill, Cecilia Bengolea, Pia Camil, John Gerrard, Julian Hoeber, Jenny Holzer, Iman Issa, Mary Kelly, Armando Lerma, Eric N. Mack, Cinthia Marcelle, Postcommodity, Cara Romero, Sterling Ruby, Kathleen Ryan, Gary Simmons, Superflex, Chris Taylor & Steve Badgett. Neville Wakefield acted as artistic director.
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Dr. Steven Nash
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