Institute of Mentalphysics

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The Water Terrace dining hall at the Institute of Mentalphysics
Photo by Avishay Artsy

This weekend, a music and art festival called Desert Daze will take place in Joshua Tree. KCRW is presenting it and the headliners are Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Iggy Pop, and Spiritualized.

Desert Daze’s trippy title vibes nicely with the festival’s setting, a place that has long attracted spiritual seekers, from yogis to UFO believers -- and architecture fans.

It’s called the Institute of Mentalphysics, and was designed by Lloyd Wright with the possible help of his father Frank Lloyd Wright; it was dreamed up by British journalist Edwin J. Dingle, whose travels through China and Tibet led him to change his name to Ding Le Mei and found the Institute of Mentalphysics.

Avishay Artsy visits the site for the UFO conference "Contact in the Desert" and reports back on energy vortexes, sacred chakras and Wright, Le Mei and their love of triangles.