Swimming in the Mojave Desert? Alfredo Barsuglia’s pool.

Over the July Fourth holiday weekend I usually get away from the city and go out to quiet parts of the land, and a recent new tradition shared with a good friend is to set course toward the Mojave Desert for some arid relaxation and restorative night sky gazing as a campfire smokes beside us. This year the plan was a little different, the result of Carolina Miranda’s article in the Los Angeles Times on artist Alfredo Barsuglia‘s Social Pool, which is an actual pool-and-journey-as-art work sunk amidst sand and brush. I wrote an essay for the San Francisco Arts Quarterly about my experience:

If you can stop, stop and silence yourself, stop your thoughts and just look around, stop first at the edge of the road and realize how fast life is elsewhere, and you’ll begin to realize for how long you’ve already been swimming. And that was a little scary. Far scarier, though, may be the realization that you are suddenly being approached by people who you did not expect to be present in the middle of nowhere.

Read more here: A Journey to Alfredo Barsuglia’s “Social Pool”

Also — Miranda posts an update to her original piece, in which I provide her a few quotes of my experience: “Worth a GPS detour? Visitors report on the Mojave’s ‘Social Pool’

¶ 2014·07·09