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Social Pool in the Mojave Desert by Alfredo Barsuglia

Alfredo Barsuglia’s Social Pool is an eleven-by-five-feet wide pool in the Southern California desert, open for anybody to use. White, unadorned and geometric, it is formally reminiscent of a Minimalist sculpture.

“There is no road. There is no fence. There is no sign. There is no trail. You just come on it. I’m sure some people won’t find it,” said the artist to the Los Angeles Times.


Translating the societal desire for seclusion and individual enjoyment into the layout of the installation, Barsulglia designed a bisected structure whose size only just allows for one or two people to stand or sit on either of its sides (appropriately, a bench is built into each half). The walls of each pool segment are so high that the seated person cannot easily see whoever sits in the adjacent space, despite the fact that they are just next-door. In a deliberate over-determination of the work’s suggested idiosyncrasies, Barsuglia stipulated that only one person or small party at a time can use the pool, and for no longer than 24 hours.



To access the pool, one has to visit the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles for a key and GPS coordinates to the Social Pool in the Mojave Desert. The installation will be open through September 30.




all images and video courtesy of ALFREDO BARSUGLIA