alfredo barsuglia sites social pool in remote area of the mojave desert
all images courtesy of alfredo barsuglia / social pool




on a small patch of land in a remote part of the mojave desert, alfredo barsuglia has inserted an eleven-by-five-foot wide bath open for public use. presented by the MAK center for art and architecture, ‘social pool‘ speaks to our behaviors of consumption and notions of escapism.

alfredo barsuglia social pool MAK designboom
the only way to reach the oasis is by receiving the key to open its cover, and its GPS coordinates from the MAK




the sculpture is sited in an isolated area as to require its visitors to make the physical effort to get there, in order to enjoy the little piece of paradise – a retreat among the barren, dry landscape. it is barsuglia’s intention that instead of offering an experience that is preconceived and contrived, individuals will take the time to slow down and reflect on social values and reality, while on their way to the ‘social pool’.

alfredo barsuglia social pool MAK designboom
visitors need to trek a ways from the nearest road to get to the pool, offering time for reflection




located a few hours away from los angeles by car, followed by a small trek from the nearest road in order to reach the oasis, the sculpture speaks of commodity in the light of life’s simple pleasures. with no signs leading you to the ‘social pool’, barsuglia questions one’s desire for personal enjoyment and seclusion, inadvertently suggesting that it is a bit dangerous for one to make the hike out there alone. while no reservations are possible to access the ‘social pool’, one needs to pass by the MAK center before heading over to the watering hole to see if it is available, as the only way to arrive there is via the GPS coordinates (given to you by the cultural institution) and a key to open its cover.alfredo barsuglia social pool MAK designboom
the pool is divided into two parts


alfredo barsuglia social pool MAK designboom
the ‘social pool’ in the mojave desert



project info:


artist: alfredo barsuglia
title: social pool
date: 2014
dimensions: 4 x 4 x 12 feet
materials: wood, fiberglass, resin-paint
location: mojave desert, CA
cooperation with: the MAK center for art and architecture, los angeles
photography: alfredo barsuglia