Here’s the first look at the Coachella 2018 art installations |

Here’s the first look at the Coachella 2018 art installations

Here’s the first look at the Coachella 2018 art installations

Just outside the newly expanded Sahara tent, a rainbow-colored cylinder rises from the Empire Polo Field grounds.

This seven-story column made of plexiglass windows ranging from red to purple beckons with mesmerizing hues. But Spectra by United Kingdom-based design studio Newsubstance is not just something to look at.

Start at the ground-level opening and make your way up the 1/4-mile ramp. As you pass by the various panels, your view changes with every step – as does the color that you’re washed in.

And at the top? Emerge onto an observation deck with a breathtaking panorama of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and beyond.

“[Spectra] was really heavily influenced by the sunrise and sunset,” Newsubstance creative director Patrick O’Mahony explained by phone from the site earlier this week. “I’m always struck with it, every time I come out here, with how impressive and how vivid the sunrise and the sunsets are. We really wanted to encapsulate those colors in the structure. In my mind, you always see a sunset from the distance. It always seems to be something that’s behind the mountains or on the sea. So, with Spectra, we wanted to propel people into that space and make sure they feel washed with the strong sunset colors of Coachella.”

On the festival website, O’Mahony uses words like “peace,” “serenity” and “reflection” to describe the atmosphere Newsubstance seeks to create with the piece. And yet those aren’t the typical words that come to mind when thinking about the Coachella vibe.

“Engulfing people and washing people in those strong, vivid colors, it makes you see things differently,” O’Mahony explained. “You’re not used to seeing the world through different tints and different colors. We wanted to slow it all down a bit and give people a bit of respite. It’s a bit of a temple of tranquility in that sense.”

But that’s not the only way festivalgoers will be able to experience their surroundings in a new way. This year’s installations are highly interactive. In addition to Spectra, you can engage with two augmented reality pieces through the Coachella mobile app.