HDTS 2011
October 15, 2011 - October 16, 2011

High Desert Test Sites returns this fall for a weekend of new experimental art, architecture, and design projects sited in the Southern California high desert communities of Joshua Tree, Pioneertown, Wonder Valley, Yucca Valley, and 29 Palms. HDTS 2011, curated by the McCarthy Family, Robert Stone, and Brooks Hudson Thomas, will feature new works by an exciting group of emerging and established artists, architects, and designers.

The weekendʼs festivities will include a dinner (first-come-first-served) and performances by E*Rock, Lisa Schonberg, Tara Jane ONeil, and Tyler Held with Von Tundra, The Sibleys, and Jamuel Saxon at the Palms Restaurant and Saloon in Wonder Valley. 

A zine-style publication, designed by David Dodge, with original contributions by the Llano del Rio Collective, will accompany the event.







All sites will be open for viewing Saturday and Sunday 10 AM - 5PM*

Saturday, October 15, 2011

8 AM - 1 PM
Dawn Kasper, Nomadic Studio Practice Experiment: The Swap Meet, Sky Village Swap Meet

2 PM - 3 PM
Shari Elf, The World Famous Crochet Museum Presents: Gospel Revival, Art Queen

3 PM - 3:30 PM
Dawn Kasper, Nomadic Studio Practice Experiment: The Palms, The Palms

4 PM - 6 PM
Tyler Matthew Oyer, Hello, Dolly!, Iron Age Road

6 PM - 10 PM
Dinner (first-come-first-served) and performances by E*Rock, Lisa Schonberg, Tara Jane ONeil, and Tyler Held with Von Tundra, The Sibleys, and Jamuel Saxon, The Palms

Sunday, October 16, 2011

1 PM - 1:30 PM
bodycity, BODY DESERT: END TRAILS, Coyote Dry Lake


*The Sky Valley Swap Meet is open Saturday and Sunday 6 AM - 2 PM.  The Palms opens at 3 PM.

Ball Nogues Studio

As an engineered oasis and climbing structure, Yucca Crater will stand 24 feet tall, towering above the desert plane. Positioned along the slopes of its interior shell, rock-climbing holds will make their way into and out of 8 feet of water. Heated with solar power and pumped through a wind powered turbine, the cavernous pool awaits climbers and weary desert travelers.


This dance is a journey we take together, drawing a map of the connective tissue between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. We work in panorama so we can all see each other. The landscape changes our bodies; our bodies change the landscape.

Bob Carr

Saturdays and Sundays 7 AM - 2 PM

Sky Village Swap Meet in Yucca Valley is a world of its own, a dense shanty-like town of booths and stands packed with curios, desert junk, overgrown cactus gardens, and bright green palo verde trees. The former drive-in loud speakers broadcast a soundtrack of country music, periodically punctuated by announcements that someone's burritos or french fries are ready for pickup at the cafe.

Claude Collins-Stracensky

A single glass sculpture resembling a glass obelisk functions as a water distiller powered by the sun. The distiller is able to purify many liquids into potable H2O through vapor distillation. Liquids are evaporated in the food-safe glass container and collected on the inner lid of the sculpture. The condensed evaporation is then collected in a cup by gravity and the shape of the sculptures inner V shaped lid. Once the grey water basin is filled and the lid is replaced, a full cup of distilled water can be safely consumed in 1-3 hours.

N. Dash
Sam Falls
Sol Kolthon

Sam and Dash will be coloring fabric with hand-made natural dyes and placing them at a specific locale in Joshua Tree. Sam's pieces will be exposed to the elements above ground in the sun and wind, while Dash's fabric will be buried beneath and encounter the subterranean environment. Both pieces will absorb the region–sun or darkness, moisture and heat, soil and air–and display these uniquely upon retrieval and unearthing. Together their representation of Joshua Tree will uncover the toll of linear time passed in this specific geographical location.

Naotaka Hiro
Sid M. Dueñas

"Our project will consist of several works, some with variable dimensions. For instance the distance of the line that will be drawn in the sand is not fixed. The terrain and the position of the other components (tent structure, carpet, rope, mirrors, metal plate, etc) will determine distances. We’re sure that our visit in September will help us have more definitive dimensions of the total area. For now maybe 40 x 40 ft. (very, very tentative). Also, we propose that on opening day we will begin installing the work(s) as a semi-performance. And thank you, it’s nice to know that there are volunteers to help but at this point we feel that we’ll be able to install without assistance. So yes, mark us down on the map for Andy’s. Thank you!" 

Shari Elf

“I wanted to bring a gospel choir to Art Queen. Like the collage works I like to make, I think this will be a wonderful combination of the unexpected, the found, the kind of surprises I dream of finding when I am out on a road trip.”

-Shari Elf


Dawn Kasper

Nomadic Studio Practice Experiment: The Swap Meet
Saturday, October 15, 2011, 8 AM - 1 PM
at the Sky Village Swap Meet in Yucca Valley

Nomadic Studio Practice Experiment: The Palms
Saturday, October 15, 2011, 3 PM - 3:30 PM
at The Palms on Amboy Road in Wonder Valley


Llano Del Rio

The High-Desert Peace Pipe has circulated in the Morongo Basin at sporadic intervals since 1976. Founded by ex-Marine Ron Fonstadt, the paper has been one of the important counter-cultural voices of the region. The Llano Del Rio Collective has collected some of its favorite articles from the Peace Pipe’s archive in the Yucca Valley Library.

The Llano Del Rio Collective draws its name from the socialist colony founded in California’s Antelope Valley by Job Harriman in the early Twentieth Century. It aims to expand cultural, social, and political imagination of Los Angeles through the production of thematic guides and related events and the hosting of a speakers bureau; HDTS participants include Steve Anderson, Katie Bachler, Ken Ehrlich, and Robby Herbst. www.ldrg.wordpress.com

Tyler Matthew Oyer


A live performance of Hello, Dolly!; all roles played, songs sung, and lines delivered by the artist.


Drawing from the writing of Victor Turner--


Ephraim Puusemp

RISE is a work with both sculptural and situational components.  A simulated artificial moon will be built in the desert where it can interact with the stars and moon in the night sky.  A large disk will be elevated by a twenty-foot pole mounted to a wood and steel structure built on the side of the highway.  The disk will serve as a screen for a photographic projection of an image of the full moon.  While the sun sets in the evening the projected image will become visible just before a waning moon begins to rise in the sky to the east.  Once the sky has grown compl

Kiersten Puusemp

While the percentage of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere is the same at all altitudes, the density of the air and thus the amount of oxygen available to human lungs decreases at higher altitudes. At these locations decreased atmospheric pressure causes there to be fewer molecules per breath. In the 17th century, this pressure function came to be understood when it was discovered that air was not a void or a weightless ether but had mass on which the earth’s gravity was exerting a pull.


Here There, There Here is a line of fabric two miles long rolled across the surface of a dry lakebed punctured by triangular volumes of changing dimensions. The piece invites participants to engage with the changing sightlines and scale as they walk from one place to another, pausing at the shapes and then coming back again—actions performed once and then reversed.



Scout Regalia

Trail Registry by Scout Regalia (Benjamin Luddy & Makoto Mizutani) is inspired by registries found at trailheads. Created to help delineate the entrance to the HDTS Pioneertown site, the registry encourages people to leave and/or take a memento tied to the enameled aluminum rods, similar to the way people leave rocks in a pile at the top of a mountain or leave artifacts near trailheads.  Trail Registryhopes to foster a sense of exploration and personal narrative of both the site and the area as a whole.

Adam Silverman


For Dr. Louis Hirshkowitz


The mystery of the Plutonic macro-basalt bloom has been around since humans first discovered them on the high desert floor. They are represented in the petroglyphs near the Salton Sea dating back over 9,000 years and, they have been studied by scientists since the birth of geology.


LeRoy Stevens


/////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////, /////////////////////,


Von Tundra

Von Tundra is an art and design collaboration between Dan Anderson and Chris Held. Space Post explores the intersections of American highway culture, survival tents, Case Study Houses, light, sound, and mid-century moon landings. A U-haul truck and construction scaffolding will be rented. A piece of impermanent micro-architecture will be erected. A sense of romantic transient escape, tempered by expectations of a return trip. In addition to the temporary sculpture/architecture, Space Post included a light and sound performance at the Palms.