UK–based show design studio NEWSUBSTANCE is making its debut at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Art Festival with Spectra – a stunning, seven-story pavilion. Commissioned by Coachella as part of its over-arching Art program, NEWSUBSTANCE is one of 6 distinguished interdisciplinary artists, including Edoardo Tresoldi with his wire mesh cathedrals, who have been chosen by Coachella to create new, brave and innovative original large-scale installations exclusively for the Festival.
Over three years in its conception and design, Spectra is an ambitious, architecturally informed installation featuring a spiral design, an observation deck at its peak, air conditioning and a dazzling color scheme that reflects the lively spirit of the festival and its awe-inspiring location.
“When creating Spectra we wanted it to be less about the structure itself and more about the journey within it,” says NEWSUBSTANCE’s creative director Patrick O’Mahony. “Once inside you will be encapsulated within a Coachella Sunrise. Color is often something only observed but with this piece we wanted the audience to be washed with rich reds, sky blues, and hot pinks as they journey to new heights and experience a truly unique view of the festival.”
“Spectra is a bold commission by the festival and one we are super excited by,” says Paul Clemente, Art Director at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. “We were immediately drawn to the notion of offering festivalgoers a unique lookout across the festival site bathed in a rich interplay of color and light. Working closely alongside NEWSUBSTANCE it was immediately clear they understood the Coachella vernacular, bringing a fresh take on our environment and we are delighted to welcome them to this year’s festival.”
Spectra will take festivalgoers on a transitional experience as they travel through the installation. No one experience will be the same as attendees are challenged to see things differently, washing over their outlook in a magnificent spectrum of colors and compelling them to pause and see the festival’s landscape in a totally new and unexpected way. With a tremendous amount of varying views and colors, every viewers experience will vary.
When creating the piece, NEWSUBSTANCE wanted to explore the relationship between the light and landscape of the festival, the shifting environment that this creates and how it influences those that journey through it. The festival is enriched by beautiful sunrises and sunsets that roll across the landscape, and it is these iconic explosions of color they wanted to capture in the design. From running through the burning reds of the morning sunrise to a gentle sunset stroll bathed in rich purples and blues as they ascend the pavilion of light, Spectra purposely propels people into a technicolor haven.
All too often, people see color as separate from themselves, something that they look at but are never within – something that never engulfs them. When journeying through Spectra, people will be saturated in color, offering a new outlook on the world around them. Every step on their journey through Spectra will be different: different views, different colors, different emotions, as people rise through the structure and it challenges them to interpret their environment through the medium of color.
The positioning of Spectra on the site was key. NEWSUBSTANCE wanted it to act as a beacon of light that draws people in from day to night. At certain times it will perfectly blend with the natural colors of the Coachella sky, and at others, it will be a wonderfully stark contrast. As people venture into the temple of tranquillity, they will find peace and serenity from the buzz of the festival. As they ascend through Spectra’s tower of color, they will be rewarded with never before seen views – a new way of seeing things and a new way of experiencing the festival.