Cristopher Cichocki brings ‘Circular Dimensions’ to the festival

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On Sunday morning, a combination of natural sounds and Gregorian chants echoed across the main stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival as pass holders arrived.

It was from Palm Springs artist Cristopher Cichocki’s architectural and sound installation, “Circular Dimensions x Microscape.”

The 50-foot pavilion, made up of 25,000 feet of PVC pipes, is combined with its mediums of microscopic video paintings through digital microscopes, and original compositions mixed with experimental music and sculptures made of sea salt and Salton Sea barnacles. The facility also includes a new state-of-the-art sound technology called L-ISA.

Palm Springs artist Cristopher Cichocki stands in front of a video screen inside a circular sculpture made of Salton Sea barnacles during his Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival art installation "Circular Dimensions x Microscape" in Indio, Calif. on April 17, 2022.

Cichocki told the Desert Sun on Saturday that it was the largest installation he had done to date and that 15 people were part of his sound and production team.

“It’s something we’ve never built before,” Cichocki said. This was assembled and ready to go to the field just over a month before the pandemic (in 2020). To see him here and in person is amazing.”

Cichocki, who works primarily with natural elements, said the idea for using a PVC pup came from an experience he did in 2015 during an artist residency. He did some of his video art on a stack of PVC pipes and found an elusive depth that resonated with him as an artist who works with the theme of ecology and the environment.

Palm Springs artist Cristopher Cichocki performs music in his Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival art installation "Circular Dimensions x Microscape" in Indio, Calif. on April 17, 2022.

“PVC is interesting because it’s a conduit for water,” Cichocki said. “At the same time, we look at plastics with a demonized view, because most plastics are horrible for the environment. However, we use plastics in the wrong way and PVC is more durable than many of the materials we make. ”

In 2019, his art installation “Desert Sea”, created from materials he found in the desert, was on display at Cathedral City Festival Lawn, near City Hall.

He graduated from Palm Desert High School and the California Institute for the Arts, and has shown his art around the world. Cichocki also hosted the now-defunct Rhythm, Wine & Brews experience at the Empire Polo Club.

Palm Springs artist Cristopher Cichocki climbs a ladder inside his Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival art installation "Circular Dimensions x Microscape" in Indio, Calif. on April 17, 2022.

His 2016 exhibition “Open Showcase of Desert Music and Photographic Arts » was presented at the Palm Springs Art Museum and included music by four desert rock artists performing in conjunction with the projected images of over 130 local and international artists at the Annenberg Theater. Cichocki’s work, “Divisions of Land and Sea”, was also included in “The Robot Show” at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History in 2018.

The Coachella art installations have been in place for two weeks, and some are now on display elsewhere, such as Edoardo Tresoldi’s ‘Etherea’ from 2018 in the city of Coachella and “Sarbalé Ke” by the Berlin architect Francis Kéré from 2019 in India.

“It could potentially be reconfigured somewhere,” Cichocki said. “He has that resilience and durability, which is a good thing to have.”

Palm Springs artist Cristopher Cichocki stands in front of his Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival art installation "Circular Dimensions x Microscape" in Indio, Calif. on April 16, 2022.

Previous reports from Desert Sun staff have been included in this report.

Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment for the Desert Sun. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bblueskye.

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