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The swimming pool, symbol of Southern California, takes a dip
The swimming pool, symbol of Southern California, takes a dip

A couple of weeks ago, I hiked into a remote patch of the Mojave Desert hoping to experience a newly installed piece of experimental art. Instead, I met a pool guy named Robert. To be fair, I'd been warned that Robert might be there. (And the hike was very short.) My destination was "Social Pool," an installation in the form of a white, covered swimming pool by an artist named Alfredo Barsuglia. Sunk into the desert floor in the southern Mojave, it's 5 feet deep and measures a modest 11 feet by 5 feet. Reaching "Social Pool" requires some of the map-tending detective work that is central to much of the land art that inspired it, including influential...

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