Using the desert near Joshua Tree as a backdrop Ball-Nogues Studios have installed what they call a synthetic earthwork which hides a swimming pool inside. The project is part of High Desert Test Sites, an art project which “generates physical and conceptual spaces for art exploring the intersections between contemporary art and life at large.” The parametric bowl Yucca Center is 30 feet tall and egressed by ladder. Visitors transverse the swimming hole, which bottoms out 10 feet below grade, by a series of rock climbing hand holds.
The wooden frame was re-claimed from a previous art project’s form work which was originally intended to be supplies for this piece, something the artists termed as “cross-designed”. The plywood is stacked and cut in sections, slotted into the ribs to create a bowl. Plywood strips skin the interior, like a ship hull in reverse.
Inspired by both aesthetic land art and abandoned swimming pools and buildings of the Southwest the piece is also very much about the human experience. Open on October 15th and 16th 2011 the work was a playground for a lucky few who spent an afternoon playing in the temporary oasis. The piece is abandoned to the elements.