A fearless Huffington Post reporter named Sasha Bronner spent the night in Alfredo Barsuglia’s Social Pool, a swimming pool mysteriously stranded in California’s Mojave Desert, and lived to tell the story.
The pool, which is open until September, was commissioned by the MAK Center in Los Angeles (see artnet News Report). Interested parties can borrow a key from the non-profit association that unlocks the pool cover for 24 hours. The only directions you will be given are a series of coordinates marking the location of the pool, which is literally in the middle of the desert – there is no sign, road, or even a path to mark the way.
The pool’s isolated location made Bronner and her friends feel like “we had just officially popped into Stephen King’s mind”. On the way to the pool, she also passed a number of “questionable meth mobile homes”, which led her to the remark that “the trip suddenly had all the requirements for the complete Breaking Bad experience”.
Far from the lonely experience Bronner had expected, a group of people was waiting by the pool when they arrived. They drove off without a word, but after dark a more menacing pair of visitors came with their own plans to hang out by the pool.
“All of the internet probably knew our exact location and anyone could have a copy of that key,” Bronner noted. “Enter every horror movie plot you’ve ever seen.” Other highlights of the trip included a late night visit by a coyote and the breakdown of Bronner’s friends when they tried to get out of the pool (luckily they came in two vehicles).
Even so, the five by eleven foot pool was still her “personal desert mirage”. They enjoyed an afternoon and an evening swimming, drinking beer, and eating pizza and peanut butter sandwiches, all along with a soundtrack by Paul Simon and Fleetwood Mac. They were “confused by the beautiful emptiness of it all” and fascinated by the beauty of the stars.
What the ever-popular “Is it Art?” Question, Bronner had her own opinion: “It didn’t matter.”
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