lucid stead mirrors and illuminates the joshua tree desert
lucid stead mirrors and illuminates the joshua tree desert lucid stead mirrors and illuminates the joshua tree desert
nov 21, 2013

lucid stead mirrors and illuminates the joshua tree desert

lucid stead mirrors the joshua tree desert
all images courtesy of lou mora photography




hidden amongst the arid landscape of joshua tree, california, american artist phillip k smith III‘s ‘lucid stead’ dreamily reflects and illuminates the desert panorama. working with a 70-year-old homesteader already situated on his property, smith has redesigned the deteriorating architecture into a mirror-paneled installation. cracks and tears in the wooden siding have been left untouched and the original dimensions unmoved, but the introduction of long refractive slats renew the existing framework, as the desert develops into a medium on the side of the shack. light and shadow defines its new purpose, as its interaction with the sun dynamically changes its appearance throughout the day.


the four surviving windows and doorway are installed with colored LEDs that very slowly shift their chroma during the night. rotating through the color wheel, the lights subtly mutate their hues from blues to greens, and yellows to reds. these tones reflect onto the surface of the earth, melting into the surrounding sand and brush and creating a remarkably ethereal atmosphere, most kaleidoscopic during dusk. ‘lucid stead’ is presented by royale projects : contemporary art in california.



‘lucid stead’, 2013
video courtesy of royale projects



‘lucid stead’ in the desert landscape



mirrored panels on the facade of the structure reflect the terrain



two detailed views of the mirrored panels integrated into the wooden structure



a corner of mirrors creates a mirage



at sunset, the colored LEDs illuminate the desert



the vibrant chroma very slowly shift in hue



‘lucid stead’ at night



  • wow

    dbkii says:
  • Lost Highway / David Linch

    juliano says:
  • Attention: bird’s killer

    Paulex says:
  • Particularly amazing in the twilight image.
    It would be wonderful just to sit there for a few hours, with beverages, and quietly watch the changing daylight to night and the transformation of the shack.
    I can see that it would take hours to appreciate this.
    p.s.; birds should be put off by the boards between the mirrors.

    Ron Smith says:
  • I prefer this one to his larger 5 pc. display at coachella. This one is more human, therefore making it more surreal. No matter–they are both beautiful, unique, startling and wonderful.

    Daniel Morris says:

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