HDTS 2013
October 12, 2013 - October 19, 2013


High Desert Test Sites hits the road for a full week of experimental art and exploration, from Joshua Tree to Albuquerque! 

HDTS 2013, the ninth program in a series of free ranging and ever evolving contemporary art events, expands our range and depth to take in everything from Joshua Tree, California to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Roughly 60 new projects will take place over an entire week, during which artists and audience alike will traverse over 700 miles of desert roads to check out the new work and explore the hidden gems and diverse desert communities along this spectacular stretch of the Southwest.

Project sites include: Amboy Crater, Arcosanti, Area 66 (Yucca), Art Queen (Joshua Tree), Bluewater Lake State Park, El Malpais National Monument, El Rancho Hotel (Gallup), Giant Rock (Landers), Hill Top Motel (Kingman), Magdalena Ridge Observatory (Socorro), Mill Restaurant (Crown King), Montessa Park (Albuquerque), Palms Restaurant and Saloon (Wonder Valley), Petrified Forest National Park, Octopus Car Wash (Albuquerque), Pink Post Office Projects (Wonder Valley), Tamarind Institute (Albuquerque), Warehouse 1-10 (Magdalena), in addition to our regular HDTS sites.

The week's festivities include a Saturday night opening dinner (first-come-first-served) at The Palms in Wonder Valley October 12, with musical performances by The Sibleys and The Renderers.  

A zine-style publication, designed by Brad Hudson Thomas, with original texts by James Trainor and Eden Solas, will accompany the event.

Special thanks to our amazing supporters, and to media partner ForYourArt.











Alisha Adams
October 18, 2013 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm

The American Southwest has been a theater for continuous mission work since Spanish colonization in the late 15th century. The Journal of Missionary Linguistics tells the story of two female missionaries to the 1950s Navajo reservation and their attempt to produce a youth bible pageant. The play explores the missionary psyche, gospel translation, and the role of the Other in American identity.

Art Queen
October 12, 2013 - October 13, 2013

A cornucopia of projects thrive in hardscrabble circumstance with spare resources, yet erupt into blossom and eventually proliferate in their own way. Including permanent installations such as Moby Dick's late work, Randy Polumbo's Grotto & Buttercup, Shari Elf's Crochet Museum, and new projects.

Korakrit Arunanondchai

2556, a film by Korakrit Arunanondchai, with performance by: Jesus Benavente, Amber Hawk Swanson, Park McArthur, and Sarah Workneh; music by yr and Dj Nire.

Andrea Polli
Ellen Babcock
October 19, 2013 - 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Tradewinds Signs Rally is an open-ended choreographic, sculpture and light experiment along Route 66. Drawing from road signs and placards, color guards, flag corps, parades and military pageantry, we give rise to deliberations about power, control and empowerment. The performance contrasts free-form movement with rigid, grid-based choreography in order to see what kinds of visual phenomenon arise from varying interactions of bodies, props and lights.

Katie Bachler
October 12, 2013 - October 19, 2013

This small guide encourages an exploration of  the self in the shifting desert landscape. On the pages the traveller will find various instructions and illustrations to assist in the experience of the land, both through looking inward and outward. Often we limit our view to what is out the window; Ways to Be in the Desert inspires viewers to locate their bodies and minds in the colors and textures and flows of the physical surroundings. 

Julia Barbee
Matt Suplee
October 12, 2013 - October 19, 2013

Inspired by the iconic car air freshener, Barbee and Suplee create a sensory experience using the car as site.  Their piece takes place in the vehicles of HDTS 2013 participants as they traverse the desert landscape. Composed of objects collected from a variety of locations along the route, the resulting sculptures will be an amalgamation curated by the viewer, a souvenir of their experience.

Michael Bisbee
October 18, 2013 - October 19, 2013

Michael Bisbee is involved in several ongoing projects, many of which make use of the land and circumstances surrounding Magdalena, NM, where he moved in 2006 from New York to be off the art-world grid. One project makes use of the Very Large Array to the west of town.

Kurt Brethauer
October 12, 2013 - October 18, 2013

The Smooth Operator draws from historical precedents of American road trip culture and non-static architecture, offering new function to road travel.  The project is based within the body of a Ford Econoline van and transforms from a personal living environment (camper van) into a public viewing platform.

Mattias Cantzler
October 16, 2013 - 7:30pm

Homemade biogas is produced out of collected dog waste. The gas is used to run a 16mm film projector, which shows a short film called Plenty of Shit.

The film Plenty of Shit deals with dogs that are looking for the perfect spot to shit.  (In my opinion it looks like a dance or a kind of ritual. It seems to require much thought from the dog and apparently it takes plenty of effort.)


October 12, 2013 - October 19, 2013

CDTS (Catherine Davis, Jennifer Reifsneider, Nancy Voegeli-Curran, and Matthew Winkler) will distribute limited edition mapbooks to HDTS travelers. These mapbooks reflect and transform raw data gathered during a group scouting expedition in June 2013. During the trip, the group followed plans, became lost in unexpected terrain, and discovered alternative territories for making meaning.

Pilar Conde
October 17, 2013 - 3:00pm - 10:00pm

Stars stayed at the El Rancho Hotel while filming westerns nearby.  Let’s capture the fleeting glory days of this area with a Polaroid photo.

Visitors meet Conde at the El Rancho front desk for an informal photo shoot and to explore the hotel grounds for a provocative location to take the portrait.

Will we find the dust, the sun and attitude of the past?

October 12, 2013 - 6:30pm - 7:00pm

array is a performance made up of three primary ingredients: a long array of spinning pinwheels, fireworks, and the desert sky.  In the American West, the symbol of the pinwheel is evocative of the windmills of the old west and the wind turbines that dominate growing portions of open space in the new west.  As the sun dips below the horizon and the sky gets fancy, the light show will begin in the distance moving pinwheel by pinwheel towards the audience.

Angela de la Agua

Angela de la Agua will drive along the entire HDTS 2013 route, stopping all along the way to photograph the changing desert landscape, placing herself in the photos occasionally, walking with the changing desert. As she makes her way from Joshua Tree, the photos show that she slowly loses pieces of clothing, until she arrives in Albuquerque naked.

Brooks Dierdorff

The Mojave Desert Mule Deer Refuge creates the ideal mule deer habitat in accordance with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s most recent study of mule deer living in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. Motion activated cameras are placed at various positions within the MDMDR and the images will be made available at www.mojavedesertmuledeerrefuge.com.

Read a report on the MDMDR by Brooks Dierdorff.

Léa Donnan

Seen from the sky, clusters of abandoned crochet blankets form a Desert Appliqué; a yarn jewel at an intersection of American craft culture and history of homesteading. Working in association with Joshua Tree local Shari Elf, Donnan investigates salvaged crochet and a shared interest in yarn bombing under the umbrella of the World Famous Crochet Museum.  Presenting a nomadic city of tents and makeshift shelters, the artist has fashioned a series of desert encampments exploring the possibilities of crochet as social sculpture.

Bob Dornberger
Jim Piatt
October 12, 2013 - October 14, 2013

SECRET RESTAURANT is a tiny restaurant exploring the extremes of food culture.  While the restaurant is aggressively marketed with ‘sign-flippers’, arrow boards and the like, the ‘building’ itself is designed to be hidden from view with plantings and other camouflage techniques.  Located at the eastern edge of Wonder Valley, California, the 16 square foot space can only accommodate the cook, forcing the diners outside to fend for themselves.  

Jim Drain
October 12, 2013

The Brown Pelican is the featured animal of Pelican Radio.  Although foreign to the high desert, the Brown Pelican is a perfect bird to bring to the dark skies of Joshua Tree.  Its pre-historic features and alien habits mirror nicely the desert landscape.  Drain continues to explore and experiment different shooting techniques, namely using a tripod that rotates 360 degrees.  

Elsewhere (Etc. Collective)
October 12, 2013 - 10:00am - 4:00pm
October 13, 2013 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm

Elsewhere hosts Crosswalk, a project that connects the HDTS Headquarters and its neighbors through pedestrian-friendly movements, signage and passways across Twentynine Palms Highway.

Mark X. Farina

Site Unspecific.

The Public is encouraged to unearth Odd artifacts, kitsch, nostalgia, legend, and folklore that is both real and imaginary. Perceive an element realization of the truth.

I propose an ephemeral ephemera uranium hunt. A soft campaign that is Un-political, Unreligious, and based in Science Friction not fact.

Cayetano Ferrer
October 12, 2013 - October 13, 2013

Objects stand near the side of the highway, slowly emitting light absorbed by passing cars and wandering flashlights. Not exactly highway warnings, but caution is suggested in the specs of the luminescent surface material. Their shapes reminisce of megalithic monuments or architecture, an ambiguity that invites both speculation and irreverent defacement.  Mark making in light erodes in time-lapse as the material loses its charge, with images burned only in memory.

Lars Fisk
October 12, 2013 - October 19, 2013

The idea of "self storage" has become very popular in this country. As a direct result of our maxed-out consumerism, row after row of identical storage units with their prefabricated, roll-up doors have been cropping up all across the country and a great new industry is booming. Self Storage is a pop-up architectural folly that, when deployed in any empty lot, masks an ordinary Volkswagen camper as "just another" self-storage building; discrete minimalist housing for otherwise private property. 

Maya Gurantz
October 14, 2013 - October 19, 2013

I have passed through Kingman, AZ many times.  It’s a perfect I-40 rest stop, near the Nevada and California borders, along historical Route 66.  I’ve always been curious about it, but also felt strangely unwelcome, an experience echoed often to me by fellow travelers.

GWC, Investigators
October 12, 2013 - October 19, 2013

GWC, Investigators is Daniel J Glendening, Michael Welsh and Sean Joseph Patrick Carney. For HDTS 2013, GWC, Investigators will engage in a period of intensive field investigation into extraterrestrial experiences and the UFO phenomenon. With a base camp at Turkey Springs, Arizona, and tangential investigations at other local sites, GWC will conduct intensive field research including audio and video recordings, data collection and cataloguing eyewitness accounts from local residents. 

Joseph Herring
October 18, 2013

High Desert Mink Hole is a multi-day performance/installation involving cooperation between present indigenous high desert plants and animals and future species of would-be-indigenous, would-be-high-desert plants and animals in order to solve desert plant infertility in a distant and post-human future, a future in which an imprudent alliance between the Bogus Yucca Moth (Prodoxus) and the Yucca Weevil (Scyphophorus yuccae) has impeded the reproduction of the entire genus yucca, especially that of the Joshua Tree.   

Bettina Hubby
October 12, 2013 - October 13, 2013

The oversized googly eyes offer up the chance to photograph and imagine the large rock as ones very own pet rock. Humans find (sometimes amusing) coping mechanisms to grasp the scale of ourselves relative to the vastness of nature and mankind’s blip in its timeline. 

Michael Iauch
October 18, 2013

Using lyrics from rock songs drawn onto blankets as signs, Iauch hitches rides toward the physical and emotional spaces these lyrics imagine, such as “the land of truth” lyric from Neil Young’s Thrashers (1979).  He talks to those who pick him up–about music, feeling trapped, and the day-to-day activities that ground romantic desire.

Margot Ittleson
October 12, 2013 - 12:00pm - 6:00pm
October 13, 2013 - 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Pink Post Office Projects (PPOP) was founded in 2007 by designer and entrepreneur couple Margot and Philip Ittleson.  They found this abandoned property on Amboy Road in Wonder Valley and took on the extensive job of cleaning up the 100-acre junkyard and styling it as a NYC loft.

K.B. Jones
Myriam Tapp
October 12, 2013 - October 19, 2013

On the back of Octopus Car Wash, this 12’ by 130’ mural is located on the corner of San Mateo and Central Avenue in Albuquerque.  It will serve as a backdrop for the Tradewinds Sign Rally on October 19, 2013, in addition to providing drivers with a view as they drive through Albuquerque on old Route 66. Depicting car windshields and rear view mirrors, it draws its inspiration from the urban streets of the desert.


Saskia Jorda
Victor Sidy
October 15, 2013

In May 2012, the Gladiator Fire ravaged an ecologically fragile mountain region in central Arizona, burning an area larger than the island of Manhattan. Dramatically saved by firefighters was the town of Crown King, an unpaved, historic mining town with a general store, two restaurant/bars, two churches, and a few visitor lodges: full-time population less than 100.

Chris Kallmyer
October 18, 2013 - 5:00pm - 11:59pm

This distance makes us feel closer is an immersive, mountaintop sound work at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico. The work is performed by a set of custom-built, autonomous instruments that resound over vast stretches of land surrounding the ridge at 10,600 feet.  

View video documentation of This distance makes us feel closer.

Harald Kanz
October 13, 2013 - 4:00pm
October 14, 2013 - 11:00am
October 14, 2013 - 12:00pm

The Samovar Tea Ceremony performance creates an environment for exploration of the dynamics between the past–as represented by a person who cooks and serves tea in a traditional Russian wood burning samovar from the 19th century, and present–as represented by the audience, who is encouraged to use their smart phones.

Debbie Long
October 12, 2013 - October 14, 2013
Naima is a rusted camping trailer set out in the wide open desert,  its paint bleached by the sun.   Inside the trailer is a white chamber lined with amethyst-colored glass objects collected from the desert and then cast in purple glass.  Purple light entirely surrounds the viewer, emitting from the cast pieces as if they had walked into a giant geode, or discovered a neon light filled crystal cave. 

Marie Lorenz
Roxanne Bartlett
October 12, 2013 - October 13, 2013

 “There exists an allied and reciprocal influence between the Heavenly Bodies, the Earth and those Bodies which are animated; a universal fluid which is so continuous as to be without vacuum, and of a subtlety incomparable…” - from the Philosophical Assertions of Franz Anton Mesmer 1779.

Erin Olivia Weber
Rose Mackey
October 16, 2013 - 8:00pm

An outdoor multimedia musical comedy, this story is based on the internet symbol of the firefox and its counterpart, the Japanese folktale trickster fox, Kitsune.

Adam Marnie
Ed Steck

New York visual artist Adam Marnie and Pittsburgh poet Ed Steck will read Steck's 35 page poem The Rose, written in a collaborative process over a two year correspondence yielding three sections: The Grid, The Rose, The Desert

Scott Oliver
October 18, 2013 - October 19, 2013

“Llano Stories & Desert Dumbballs” is an event the completion of a site-specific, cast concrete, sculpture entitled  A New Horizon by Scott Oliver. 

Alex Kenefick
Julianna Parr
October 12, 2013 - October 19, 2013

DocuMART™ is an installation involving a low-overhead, illicit permitting and papers office.  DocuMART™ will be at the Hill Top Motel at 1901 E Andy Devine Avenue in Kingman, AZ (Route 66) for the full duration of HDTS 2013.

Corrina Peipon
Lucy Raven
October 12, 2013 - 12:00pm - 6:00pm
October 13, 2013 - 12:00pm - 3:00pm

On Amboy Road near The Palms in Wonder Valley, the Wonder Valley Way Station offers hospitality and a piece of shade along the way from Joshua Tree to Amboy and points beyond. Purveying local maps and information, basic provisions, and souvenirs, the Wonder Valley Way Station is open to travelers on October 12 and 13.  

Virginia Poundstone

Culling locations featured in Poundstone’s grandfather's old collection of Arizona Highways magazine from the 1950’s and 1960's, this project maps the experience of road travel from Joshua Tree to Albuquerque, then and now.

Courtney Prokopas
Kera MacKenzie
October 18, 2013

WONDER MACHINE is a present day proto-­cinematic event, marrying two paramounts of moving image history—the zoetrope and the drive­-in movie theatre —in an all but abandoned sub­-development in Belen, New Mexico. 

Katie Shook
October 16, 2013 - 5:00pm

Stratify is a puppet and object performance piece exploring themes of vision quest and the desert trip as a search for new perspective. Mirages of large cardboard sculptures give way to a giant dancing dirt mound, which births desert puppets, and turns inside out, becoming a quilt for the sandy floor. Audience will be served a cooling refreshment. 

Joey Jensen
Pascual Sisto
October 13, 2013 - 7:30pm

Sighting takes the medium of cinema outside of the confines of a prerecorded event and into a experiential performance to be witnessed as live act. The components of contemporary cinema get broken down and deconstructed into their audio / visual elementary building blocks while reverting the role of the landscape from background into the main focus of the narrative. 

Lisa Sitko
October 12, 2013 - October 13, 2013

"I know you're out there.  I can feel you now.  I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us." – The Matrix

Catharine Stebbins
October 14, 2013

Is it truly possible Leave No Trace in 2013? Desert Traces is a temporary campsite on BLM land just East of Kingman AZ inspired by Stebbins' 1960's desert camping trips with family, and the wilderness management concept of Leave No Trace. 

Jesse Sugarmann
October 12, 2013 - October 13, 2013

We Build Excitement is a series of automotive performances in which heavy equipment is used to build sculptures out of Pontiac vehicles as a monument to GM’s discontinued Pontiac Motor Division.  This project is ongoing, the performances taking place at a series of temporary Pontiac dealerships in California, Arizona, and Michigan.  Beyond the construction and destruction of automotive monuments, the performances may include:

Julie Tolentino
Stosh Fila/Pigpen

DOUBLE HAPPINESS OR NOTHING takes place midway between the two points of this festival’s boundaries of Joshua Tree, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the town of NOTHING, Arizona. DHoN captures, on digital film, the “incredible yet ordinary” lives of two, not-as-well-known-these-days, aging yet iconic super heros: Superman and Batman played by myself and Stosh Fila, as a duet team. The aging duo traverses NOTHING (also called Nowhere, AZ), a ghost town, recognizing that there truly is nothing to save (nor to rescue, nor to inspire) - except perhaps themselves and each other. 

Tracy Tynan

Tracy Tynan will take a road trip between Joshua Tree and Albuquerque and back, collecting business cards from people and businesses along the way.

Kartz Ucci
October 12, 2013 - 6:00pm - 10:00pm

A temporary sound and light piece, with accompanying sing-along, 256 Shades of Grey will be projected into/onto/through the desert on the opening night of HDTS 2013. It is a celebration of uncertainty, midi file technology, the Grateful Dead, and above all, survival. A brief shifting of the darkness in this, the deserts of the American West.  256 Shades of Grey is a project by Kartz Ucci, with Abby Donovan and Tom Hughes.

Vecinos Artist Collective
October 18, 2013 - October 19, 2013

Burial Grounds is located in El Cerro Mission, 30 minutes south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over the years, this rural area lined by mobile homes has evolved into a makeshift landfill. Tires, speedboats, furniture, garbage bags of house waste, and animal carcasses are all discarded on this site. Since the cost of disposing this waste at a regulated landfill can be prohibitive, the desert becomes an open burial ground.

Alex Webb
Catherine Harris
Nina Dubois
October 19, 2013 - 10:00am - 6:00pm

Dusty Inflatables is a passively pneumatic structure, activated by daily temperature changes to create a gathering space in Montessa Park, Albuquerque.  As diurnal temperature changes fluctuate, the inflatable cells rise and fall to allow the array to inhale and exhale with the sun.  

Olav Westphalen
October 15, 2013 - 8:00pm

Even Steven plays with humor and entertainment in order to talk about quite basic issues: fairness, empathy and desire (pheromones). Even Steven is basically a poetic rumination, using fragments of comedy and other standard formats as vehicles. Even Steven employs the - equally heroic and sad - trope of the entertainer. It conjures up an atmosphere of low-budget, intimate spectacle. 

Landon Wiggs
October 14, 2013

The skeletal remains of an LA mini mall sign offer reflection on their present fate.

Lose and find yourself along roadside America, and interpret the landscape and all its contents at a blur. Any messages misread become unmistaken in memorial.

Bennett Williamson
October 13, 2013 - October 14, 2013

Next Punchline 30 Miles consists of two handmade billboards placed at an interval along a stretch of desert road. The first billboard contains the setup to a joke, and the second has the punchline. It will be a bad joke, a real stinker, popsicle stick-level humor. This project stems from Williamson’s ongoing interest in signage, and attempts to create a bit of absurdity for a passing audience captive in the ennui of a long road trip.