Coachella has never lacked for mind-altering things to look at, but a new digital art installation is meant to completely overwhelm you.
The Antarctic is a planetarium-style dome near the main entrance. Outside, it looks like a normal white tent, but the interior is rigged like a ravey James Turrell installation.
If you look up from one of the 500 or so bean-bag-like chairs during during each 15-minute session, your entire field of vision is consumed with cosmic images and drippy animations. If you already thought Coachella was loopy, you’re in for quite a ride here.
The film whips you around the cosmos, into DNA strands and through a cubist fantasia of light, color and heavy bass drones. A lot of it looked like ’90s EDM fliers; some of it tried to match Joshua Tree’s eerie emptiness.
All throughout the movie, fans shrieked with shock and glee at each twist.
It looks to be a hit for the San Francisco creative studio Obscura Digital, to judge from the gee-whiz moods of the fans exiting.
“That was crazy! I didn’t expect that at all,” said 26-year-old Sammy Chung from Seattle.
This is her first Coachella, and though she knew a bit of what to expect from the annual flood of Coachella pictures, the totality of it all left her head spinning (in a good way).
“We thought [the Antarctic] would just be a visual experience, but it was everywhere. It was amazing.”