Poetic Kinetics reveal stellar 2019 Coachella creation

A blast from the past returns for 20th anniversary

Art installations at Coachella Fest

Indio, Calif. - Weekend One of the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has come and gone, and it was out of this world!

A familiar face from Coachella's past re-entered orbit, landing on the kaleidiscopic grounds of the Empire Polo Field, just in time for the 20th anniversary of the nation's biggest music festival. 

"It was really fun to sort of expand on this idea of an astronaut coming back," said Patrick Shearn, the creative director and president of Poetic Kinetics.

Poetic Kinetics, the group behind some of the festival's moving mammoth art over the years, picked a crowd favorite from 2014 -- called "Escape Velocity" -- for an encore.

But the 36-foot tall astronaut isn't the same as when crowds last saw him -- or her -- from five years ago.

This weathered astronaut, appearing in a scorched space suit, has been on an intergalactic journey (and, other festivals, it seems), only to realize we must value what we have. 

"It's a big universe out there, and there's a lot to see and a lot to do, but it turns out that the most precious thing in the whole universe is this planet. We really need to pay attention to that," Shearn said. 

This radio-controlled animatronics space traveler took 30 people to build and in its 2019 showing, is called "Overview Effect."

The term refers to the cognitive shift in awareness that some NASA astronauts say they feel while seeing the earth from outer space. 

A few weeks ago, KESQ morning anchor Angela Chen went inside the artists' studio to give viewers an inside look at how the giant Coachella creations are made. That story is also available on

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