Under the dusty memory of the Coachella Valley lie the imprints of its underwater past.

Numerous rests of fossilised shells remain testimony of a radical transition from seabed to desert; influencing even its nomenclature, derived from Conchilla or “little shell” . But the ocean retreated without washing away the suspicion that every ecosystem persists under an irreversible state of temporality. Human-caused global warming is only exacerbating dramatically, and as the rising sea levels become a global threat, the ocean calls for its return to Coachella; the only remaining doubt is how to answer to this unambiguous shout-out.

As a meeting point between a certain past and most probable future, SUPERFLEX proposes Dive-In, an architectural installation functioning as drive-in cinema that waits to become infrastructure for marine life. The construction of an outdoor movie theatre acts as a reminder of our abusive car culture and its forthcoming consequences. Using the preferred palette of the Walter and Leonore Annenberg, Palm Springs and marine polyps, the pink coral-like walls of Dive-In are structures created to serve the needs of both humans and marine creatures.

Looking at a future dictated by the advancing steps of climate change, it is not only possible but mandatory to prepare our environment for the future migrants. Dive-In proposes a unique and timeless encounter between humans and fish in which both will be interacting simultaneously with the same architecture, proving at the same time that the structures used in dry land can very well be modelled after the deep desires of marine species.

Dive-In is the first large scale artistic result of the ongoing three-year research project Deep Sea Minding, lead by SUPERFLEX and commissioned by TBA-21-Academy. The pink cinema will project scenes of marine life interacting with the coral-like structures, captured during the first expedition on board the good ship Dardanella. In collaboration with Dr. Alex Jordan, expert in Collective Behaviour among fish, several types of structures were tested in order to recognise the their architectonic preferences. These experiments allow us to foresee and prepare for the inevitable integration of sea life on land.

In this context, Dive-In is an encounter across time, elements and species, conciliating the arid desert of Coachella with its submerged alter-ego, as well as humans with our upcoming  underwater neighbours.

Dive-In is commissioned by Desert X in collaboration TBA21-Academy. Dive-In music was composed by Dark Morph (Jónsi and Carl Michael von Hausswolff).

Photo: Lance Gerber

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