Social Pool (2014) by Alfredo Barsuglia
It's nice to take a dip in the cold crisp water of a swimming pool when it's hot outside, so it's doubly nice to go swimming when you're in the middle of a desert. The trick is, you've got to find the hidden pool.
Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia constructed Social Pool, an eleven-by-five feet wide swimming pool in the Mojave desert in southern California, open to anybody to use provided that they can find it. The pool's location is guarded by secret GPS coordinate, and is locked when not in use (you can ask for the key as well as the GPS coordinate at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles).
The Social Pool is covered and locked when not in use.
"It's really hard to find," Barsuglia said to LA Times, "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."
Barsuglia created the Social Pool as an art installation about "the effort of people make to reach a luxury good." Swimming pools, said Barsuglia, is often a hallmark of wealth. "I'm interested in the way that these are often integrated into the architecture of a house. And, often, people will have a pool, but they don't even get into it. They just like to show that they have it. It shows they don't have to think about water."
Who'd make the trek into the Mojave desert just to find such a thing? Juliet Bennett Rylah of LAist made the journey and wrote about it:
There is something distinctly and uniquely pleasant about this pool. Maybe it's that you're entirely alone with just a couple close friends. There's no one to hear you and nothing to overhear. Maybe it's that there's an element of danger. You passed some abandoned trailers on your way—who's to say you won't run into Walter White or the villains of The Hills Have Eyes? What about snakes and scorpions? Or maybe it's the supposed lawlessness. You're not supposed to drink on Venice Beach or run around naked, but nobody really seemed to be policing Social Pool.
The key to the Social Pool
Rylah noted that it took two and a half hours to drive from the museum to the pool, and that she had to travel through a lot of open desert and unpaved road to reach the Social Pool.
Do you have what it takes to find this hidden pool in the middle of the desert?