The Bombay Beach Ritual

A collaboration project at the Bombay Beach Biennale with world renowned visionary architect

Gesine Thomson and award winning director Tigran Mutafyan.

The Bombay Ritual occurred on April 1, 2023 and is located on the Salton Sea and is the lowest community in the United States, located 223 feet (68 m) below sea level. The population was 231 at the 2020 census, down from 295 in 2010, down from 366 in 2000.

World renowned visionary architect and city planner Gesine Thomson wrote and recited a poetic blessing for the souls of community members who recently passed away. Among the pyramidal structures, burning flames and wild horses running clockwise around this sacred memorial site were hundreds of family and friends in meditative resonance with this ritual act. Tigran Mutafyan, an award winning,  celebrated director, producer and cinematographer developed this cinematic, immersive ritualistic experience, producing a transcendental phenomenon that moved all present.

The Ritual

Photographs of the ritual: Gesine recites her poetic resonance at the base of the pyramidical structures, veiled in translucent noir textiles as the pyres burn in recognition of the lives lost. White horses gallop in circles around Gesine and the pyramids, producing a soul-lifting energetic life force dynamic. In symbolic and mystical accordance, 100’s of people participate in this ritual transcendence of souls with meditative attention as the smoke and spirit rise into the dimension of quantum liberation.

The Souls Ascent

Following Gesine’s recital, a mythological entity reflecting angelic dynamics hovered into the space with dove-like grace and goddess presence. The beautiful music was performed live at The Bombay Beach Biennale main stage by George Laks on piano, the voice is Walid Ben Selim.

Map of The Bombay Beach Bienale

About the Bombay Beach Biennale (from their site) –

The Bombay Beach Biennale is a renegade celebration of art, music, and philosophy that takes place on the literal edge of western civilization – the shores of the Salton Sea.

It was founded in 2015 as a public arts event untethered from the commercial art world of galleries, museums, and art fairs, and as a tool to amplify the largely unknown and ignored ecological crisis that is the Salton Sea.

The Biennale is an entirely free and public happening. Everything we do is open to anyone who can manage to find their way to Bombay Beach. Public offerings include weekly programming of workshops, performances, community meetings, and screenings. During our climactic weekend, we have three full days of programming with open gallery exhibits, a film festival, a literary festival, a philosophy conference, live music, and dance/theater performances.

The Official Biennale Season begins January 1st of each year, and concludes in a celebratory weekend in the spring, the dates of which are spread only by word-of-mouth. While in season, the Bombay Beach Biennale transforms the abandoned housing, vacant lots, and decaying shoreline of the Salton Sea into a unique canvas for creative expression, social practice, and critical thought.

To learn more, visit their website:

Photographs of Bombay Beach Bienalle Art Installations, attractions and experiences