Reporter Camps Out at Mojave Desert Pool Set up

An intrepid Huffington Post reporter named Sasha Bronner spent the night and lived to tell the story at Alfredo Barsuglia’s Social Pool, a swimming pool mysteriously stranded in California’s Mojave Desert.

The pool, which is open through September, was commissioned by the MAK Center in Los Angeles (see artnet News Report). Interested parties can borrow a key from the non-profit organization, which unlocks the pool cover for 24 hours. The only directions you will be given are a series of coordinates marking the location of the pool, which is literally in the middle of the desert – there is no sign, road, or even a path to mark the way.

The isolated location of the pool made Bronner and her friends feel like “we had just officially entered Stephen King’s mind”. On the way to the pool, she also passed a number of “questionable meth mobile homes”, which led her to comment that “the trip suddenly had all the requirements for the complete Breaking Bad experience”.

Far from the lonely experience Bronner had expected, a group of people was waiting by the pool when they arrived. They drove off without a word, but after dark an even more threatening pair of visitors arrived with plans of their own to hang out by the pool.

“The entire Internet probably knew our exact location and anyone could have a copy of this key,” Bronner noted. “Enter every horror movie story you’ve ever seen.” Other highlights of the trip were a nightly visit by a coyote and the car of Bronner’s friends that broke down while trying to get out of the pool (luckily they had come in two vehicles).

Even so, the five-by-eleven-foot pool was still her “personal desert flicker”. They enjoyed an afternoon and an evening swimming, drinking beer, and eating pizza and peanut butter sandwiches, all to a soundtrack by Paul Simon and Fleetwood Mac. They felt “confused by the beautiful emptiness of it all” and captivated by the beauty of the stars.

What the ever-popular “Is it Art?” When asked, Bronner had her own opinion: “That didn’t matter.”

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