Desert X – Mirage in Palm Springs

Doug Aitken’s MIRAGE is an art installation in Palm Springs. It’s part of the Desert X biennial exhibition in the Coachella Valley. Desert X first took place in the spring of 2017. Artists were invited to create installations that reflect the unique landscape of the desert. A 2019 exhibition is planned to open in February 2019.

Back to the MIRAGE house. Unfortunately, the art installation will be demolished this month and is no longer available to visit. Now, if you are fast and are able to hike uphill, you can catch a glimpse from the Tram Way road in Palm Springs. Park at the Palm Springs visitor center and hike up the road. From the road you are able to see the MIRAGE. Please don’t trespass on private property!

reflecting the landscape desert x mirage house in palm springs

The MIRAGE is built as a typical American ranch-style family home. Its surface made of reflective mirrors. The mirrors both absorb and reflect the landscape in a unique way, making the MIRAGE seemingly disappear in the landscape.

absorbing the landscape desert x mirage house in palm springs

The interior is also clad in mirrors and endlessly reflects “dreams and aspirations projected onto the America West” (Desert X, Dough Aitken).

interior of the mirage house in palm springs

This was one of the most beautiful installations that I have ever seen and I am sad that the MIRAGE will be demolished soon. However, I am happy to have had the opportunity to wander around while the exhibition was still open earlier this year.

2019 is clearly marked in my calendar as the year to visit all Desert X installations. By the time I heard about this year’s exhibition, most installations were already taken down.

What is your favorite art installation?

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  1. OMG I can’t believe it! A mirage in the middle of desert!! This is such a great piece of art and structure. I am actually sad to know they are demolishing it. I would really wanted to visit it some day.

  2. Awww…too bad the MIRAGE is being demolished. I would have loved the chance to see it in person. I appreciate being able to view it through your lovely photos. It looks so awesome!

  3. OMG WHAT?!?!?!?!?! THAT LOOKS SO COOL! I have never been out over there, the drive intimidates me, but seriously, that is super cool! I bet if my husband saw this, he’d want to model our house after it! LOL!