When the weather is hot and sticky what better way is there to cool down than to dive into a swimming pool? But what happens if you are driving through the Mojave Desert, with nothing but sand stretching for miles around? Well there is a swimming pool in the desert, but you have to know where it is if you want to take a dip. Bear in mind that the southern California desert is around 25,000 square miles.
[Image Source: Alfedo Barsuglia]
So what is a swimming pool doing out in the middle of such an expanse of desert? Well the Social Pool is a minimalist sculpture from Alfedo Barsuglia, who designed it as a salute to monumental works by other artists, including the Spiral Jetty from Robert Smithson, which is located on the Great Salt Lake. The swimming pool is small, at five feet wide and eleven feet long, more of a hot tub really but hopefully not as hot! The artist however made a point that it wasn’t about the size, but more about the journey it takes to get to see the artwork. The pool is more about the journey and the effort that is taken by people to reach a luxury item in the desert, a cooling dip.
You don’t get to find out where the pool is actually located, but you are given GPS co-ordinates and a key, which you can get if you pay a visit to the MAK Centre for Art and Architecture, West Hollywood. The only thing that the artist will say about the location of the pool is that you will have to drive for from Los Angeles for several hours and you do have to be willing to take a walk a long way from the closest road to reach the pool.
There is a video online that shows those interested how they can unlock the pool to gain access to it. The lid of the pool comes up and transforms to make the sundeck. The water of the pool does keep cool, so it is perfect for cooling down after your long trek through what is often 100 degree heat. It has a filter that is solar powered and it comes with a chlorination system to keep it fresh. One thing that you do have to agree to when taking the key and making the trip out there is to take a gallon of water with you. So not only do you have to walk over desert following the GPS, you also have to carry the water with you. This is so the pool can be topped up as there is bound to be some evaporation.
The pool has opened over the past weekend so if you have nothing better to do than go touring around the desert following your GPS and you don’t mind carrying the extra gallon of water, you could take a dip in this very unique pool in the desert - if you can find it!