The 2019 Coachella Arts and Music Festival has begun with installations by Francis Kéré, Office Kovacs, and NEWSUBSTANCE in Indio, California. The festival opened to the public for its 20th year with a lineup featuring Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande as the headliners for the two-weekend experience. Over half a dozen large-scale installations have been built at Coachella featuring the work of up-and-coming artists, designers and architects.
Each year the Festival’s art program establishes new cultural reference points to distinguish the festival, while contributing to the rapidly expanding visual arts landscape in the Coachella Valley. Drawing a broad international public, the installations act as landmarks to help map and navigate the field, offering central gathering points, as well as places for respite and shelter from the desert heat and moments of reflection and contemplation.
Los Angeles–based Office Kovacs joins the festival for the first time this year, as well as architect Francis Kéré. Office Kovacs’s Colossal Cacti installation was made with seven fluorescent cacti that range fin height from 20 feet to over 50 feet. The cacti reference the colors of Frank Stella’s Multicolored Squares. Francis Kéré's installation Sarbalé ke was created as 12 towers referencing the baobab trees that grow in the region of Burkina Faso where Kéré is from. Rising up to 60 feet in height, the conical towers are filled with light displays.
Past installation designers and artists have included the likes of Bureau Spectacular, Edoardo Tresoldi, and Olalekan Jeyifous. Returning participants included art duo Dedo Vabo and experiential designers Poetic Kinetics, as well as show design studio NEWSUBSTANCE. Do LaB also returned to create their unique stage designs. For more information, see the festival’s website.