The Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia has constructed an eleven-by-five foot swimming pool in the Southern California desert, open to anyone who wants to use it. It is an artistic piece whose existence was made possible through the collaboration between the artist, a Vienna resident, and the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. White and unadorned, this geometric pool is reminiscent of a minimalist sculpture. It is located far from any road and in a sparsely populated area. The aim of this piece is for the visitor to reflect upon social values, dreams and reality along the trail to the pool. In short, “Social Pool” is a transformative journey, a promise of relaxation, peace and harmony.
The pool is designed in two parts, one square and the other rectangular. The square is empty and the rectangle contains water and enough room for two people. The walls are high enough to ensure that users of both sections of the pool, despite being next to each other, remain hidden. Barsuglia devised this system so that only a single person or a small group of people enjoy the journey and the pool at a time. In terms of its technical features, the pool has a movable cover that prevents water evaporation, a filter and chlorine disinfection system.
To visit the “social pool” it is necessary to obtain its GPS coordinates as well as the keys to the movable cover. The MAK Center also recommends bringing drinking water, food, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and boots for the experience.
According to the artist, perhaps the trip to this pool, an element that blurs the line between what is useful, what is installation art and what is social experiment, means the modest beginning of a social revolution. “The comments from visitors to this installation have been extremely interesting and one of the YouTube videos has even received over 160,000 views”, said Barsuglia.