As dozens of people swam and sunbathed on the shores of Lake Perris, others nearby received fortunes spit out by a candy colored Plinko machine, spun a cube sculpture rooted in physics and climbed atop a red Devo flowerpot hat in the sand to pose for photos.

All of the revelers were attendees at the eighth edition of Desert Daze, an eclectic music festival featuring performances from The Flaming Lips, Ween, Devo, Wu-Tang Clan and more that wraps its second year at the Lake Perris State Recreation Area on Sunday.

And this year saw the most ambitious art yet from the festival, with nearly two dozen artists and collectives represented, with Art Director Monica Fernandez curating a group of legacy artists who have shown at the festival, commissioned new pieces and also tapped into the art worlds of Burning Man and Lightning in a Bottle.

“It feels like every artist has brought their best work to date,” Phil Pirrone, the festival’s founder, said in a telephone interview earlier this week. “The pieces are probably going to make the biggest impact in Desert Daze history.”

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While the art at Desert Daze has always had an interactive component, the exhibits this year took it to another level, complete with a mobile observatory, “Black Rock Observatory,” in the campgrounds.

Inside the main festival, Oakland-based artist Colin Bowring, who sculpts under the name Photon Wizard, spun his “Jupiter Gyro Project,” a gyroscope with clear cube set inside multiple steel octagons on Friday afternoon, as many festival goers would throughout the weekend.

Bowring described the piece as “mechanical physics objects that people can play with.”

“Jupiter Gyro Project” was one of multiple pieces on the grass between the two largest stages of the festival.

Nearby, people lounged inside “The Bent Pyramids,” copper meditation pyramids covered in kaleidoscopic hand-painted fabric and string by Nadia Fleenor, and also Harlan Gruber’s “Turquoise Portal,” a star-like shape that welcomed people inside.

“We created this area to be a geometric garden,” Fernandez said.

She described the placement of the pieces around the festival grounds as “clusters of experience.”

Gruber’s piece, which he designed as “an interactive space that people can climb into,” not only channeled the vibrations from the main stage, dubbed the Moon, but also his “Quasar Wave Transducer,” which he described as making the sculpture purr. The artist, who has also taken his work to Burning Man, also had two other pieces, “Heart Start” and “Emerald Portals,” around the festival grounds.

Another popular Burning Man sculpture that made it to Desert Daze was “Portal” by David Oliver and Art City Gallery and Studios, which was set up on the beach. The giant rainbow colored ring sits atop steps and is situated between two large basalt pillars and weighs 20,000 pounds, Oliver said. Originally the transformation of a painting he created, Oliver spent 9 months on the piece, which features 4,608 glass pieces in the rainbow mosaic circle, which represents his transformation as an artist.

An equally colorful piece nearby on the sand was Cambria Guevara’s “Inception of Love,” a series of rainbow head silhouettes growing increasingly smaller, culminating in a purple heart.

It was the first installation piece for Guevara, who has been a vendor at the festival for years with her clothing company Mermaid Hex and also drew the cartoony icons on the festival’s map. She was thrilled to see people taking photos with her work and excited to see them shared on social media. The piece was inspired by self-care and mental health.

“The more love you let in, the better your life will be,” Guevara said.





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