After having my first child in 2015, I came across a peculiar sun lit spot called the Salton sea, perched somewhere in the California desert with a tiny salty lake that has taken the interest of artists and burnt-out burning man creatives from all over. Rated as the lowest community that you’ll find in the US (233 below sea level), Bombay Beach used to be a camping spot with a few scattered holiday homes in the 70s, with it’s owners and holiday makers abandoning the location due to an ecological disaster. This small derelict town has recently captured the interest of these artists, allowing them to apply complete contemporary expressions of art and installations within the chaos and dried up lots of this abandoned and what some say ‘semi-toxic’ beach town.
Once a year, creatives gather for 3 days to celebrate the art produced at the Bombay Beach Biennal in the form of performances, installations and displays. According to the website, Bombay Beach Biennale is: a renegade celebration of art, music, and philosophy that takes place on the literal edge of western civilization, at the shores of the Salton Sea. This festival/biennal initiated in 2015 with the goal of converting abandoned housing, vacant lots, and decaying shoreline into a unique canvas for creative expression.
Artists, philosophers, creators and makers across many mediums donate their time and talents to the volunteer-led happening.
Knowing me, there’s something comforting that I find in exploring abandoned spaces- the lives and stories that was once lived by peoples, their past, a reminder that there was once life that existed in what may seem like the description of death and endings. Add to that, contemporary art, graffiti, recycled creativity, music, philosophy and performances – and I’m in true heaven. But I also stand to wonder- is this a spin off and relief for artists from what Burning Man, the festival, and what it has now become? Only time will tell.