Marianna Guernieri
February 20, 2018
Nature Society Visual arts

Leave Coachella behind, if you’re looking for something truly authentic. The Bombay Beach Biennale is a hidden art festival in California that takes place in a ghost town on the Salton Sea, in the desert of the Imperial Valley. A perfect example on how art can rehabilitate an abandoned place and address environmental issues.

The Salton Sea was born after a severe flood of the Colorado river. It’s a 375-square-mile accident of nature, industry and real estate. In the 1950s, a large-scale development project aimed to transform the area into a tourist destination and seaside resort. The plan failed and the area quickly fell into decline, becoming one of the biggest environmental disasters of the United States.

For the third year artists, philosophers, sculptors and performers join together to give something back to the Salton Sea community, to make a lasting change inspired by the magic, the mystery and the history of this unique location. A documentary film launched on Indiegogo will retrace the essence of the place, revealing its history and the power of art communities over abandonment and environmental catastrophe.

Bombay Beach Biennale 2018
Applications: open
Founders: Tao Ruspoli, Lily Johnson-White, Stefan Ashkenazy
Credits: all images via
Documentary film: more info here. Susanna della Sala (director), Andrea Josè di Pasquale (cinematographer)
Year: Spring 2018