There’s a science lab in the middle of the 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival — and it’s all part of a massive art installation.
As ambient sounds vibrate all around, a screen projects colorful moving images of what appear to be living cells onto a screen inside one of the three tunnels that make up “Circular Dimensions x Microscape”, created for the festival by local artist Cristopher Cichocki.
Above the tunnels is a five-story rainbow-shaped wall made up of white PVC tubes that all make up the stunning piece in the middle of the main field.
“Much of my work is about infinite perception. Perception that we cannot completely capture. Work is never static, work is alive,” said the Palm Springs resident and multimedia artist whose work spans painting, sound art, photography, sculpture as well as nature and science.
Cichocki calls his work “New Earth Art” and he has pieces in the permanent collections of institutions, including the Palm Springs Art Museum, but this will be his first time exhibiting his art at Coachella.
And for his Coachella debut, he built a pavilion made from 25,000 feet of PVC tubing that creates three main tunnel-like spaces under a massive wall.
“It’s quite amazing and relaxing at the same time. It’s a cool place to hang out,” said San Diego resident Andrea Rodriguez, sitting inside the middle tunnel, leaning against a wall, on the first day of the festival.
Inside the main tunnel is the ‘core’ of the pavilion where artists create video images using digital microscopic manipulations of water, salt, barnacles and algae sourced from the Salton Sea at proximity.
“It’s live chemistry that’s projected into the central tunnel,” said the artist.
The installation is not only for the eyes but also for the ears as recordings that sound like natural sounds mixed with computer generated sounds that resonate through the tunnels.
As the day progresses, the sounds become more intense, culminating in an audiovisual performance by Cichocki titled “Circular Dimensions”.
“I’ll be activating a soundscape during the day that uses a lot of the sounds found in the desert, then at night when the sun goes down I’ll go into a more rhythmic, bass-driven soundscape that will be activated with this lab. living microscopic,” he said.
“It’s going to be different all the time. You will enter at different times of the day and you will have a totally different experience as the audio changes, the microscopic lab changes and then at night there will also be a video projection on the pavilion,” Cichocki mentioned.