Rescheduled for November 12/13
BLAST SITE: A Field Guide to Excavating Our Future Failures

A High Desert Test Sites “New Everyday Life” Survival Workshop

At the far edge of Wonder Valley in one of HDTS’s most isolated locations, artists Danielle McCullough and Gabie Strong will lead a weekend camping expedition through Blast Site, an imagined remnant of mythic global disaster that is part survival workshop and part ritual experience.

Over the weekend, guests will engage in sun printing and survival cooking demonstrations, experience a curated evening of desert storytelling, and partake in a ritual sound ceremony composed specifically for the site. Workshop attendees will bring home a limited edition artist book featuring stories, survival cooking recipes, maps, and a site-specific CD soundtrack.

To enroll, email and make a payment directly through PayPal (see link below).

November 12th
12:00 - Arrival to site
13:00-16:00 - Lunch and sun printing demonstration
16:30-18:00 - Guided tour of Blast Site
18:30-19:30 - Survival cooking workshop and dinner
19:30-20:30 - Fireside storytelling
20:30-00:00 - Sound and Ritual performance

November 13th
08:00-10:00 - Pancake breakfast
10:00-12:00 - Time capsule burial

Registration Fee: The cost is $100 per person for the weekend. The fee includes Saturday lunch and dinner/drinks, Sunday breakfast, and a limited edition commemorative book handmade by the artists. All proceeds are used to cover supplies, event materials, and a small honorarium for the artists.

Use PayPal to submit your registration fee by clicking on the following link: Paypal - HDTS Blast Site Workshop

If you prefer to make another payment arrangement, please contact

Enrollment: Due to the intimate nature of this event the group will be limited to twelve people. Spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis. If you would like to enroll please email to confirm your interest and complete your payment for the weekend through PayPal. The fee is non-refundable, however you can give your reservation to another person if you are not able to make the event.

Lodging: Blast Site includes remote camping - you should bring your camping gear, lots of water, sunscreen, hats and a trash bag so you leave the desert clean at the end of the event.

For updates and event listings for future incarnations of The New Everyday Life email us at



SATURDAY April 30th - SUNDAY May 1st

New Everyday Life Workshops

Join us for a survival skills building weekend organized by Alyse Emdur and Michael Parker.

The weekend will kick off at A-Z West with a hands-on workshop introducing solar oven designs, histories, and methods. A step-by-step zine will help guide us through the process of constructing our own solar ovens. Afterward, dancer/choreographer Flora Wiegmann will teach choreography stemming from safety and survival movements in the high desert landscape. And on Saturday afternoon, Aaron Freeman and Tyler Nathan will demystify the corporatization of distillation, both for liquor and fuel. A solar dinner will be served followed by home made beers, wines and liquors.

On Sunday, after the fanciest solar oatmeal breakfast imaginable, we will have the extraordinary opportunity to tour Aaron and Ronda Mueller's completely off-the-grid lifestyle in a boulder oasis high above Pioneertown. Think soft footprints, gardens, composting toilets, solar cells, and interlocking yurts. We will conclude with an in-depth Q&A.


Weekend Itinerary:

Saturday April 30th

How to Build a Solar Oven with Alyse Emdur and Michael Parker
Safety and Survival Movements with Flora Wiegmann
Distilling with Aaron Freeman and Tyler Nathan
Solar Dinner
Home-made beers, wines and liquors from Tyler and Aaron at AZ West

Sunday May 1st

Solar Oatmeal (yes, it will be ready by 9!)
Caravan to Ronda and Aaron Mueller's home (about 25 miles from downtown Joshua Tree)
Homestead tour of Ronda and Aaron’s completely off-the-grid living in a boulder oasis high above Pioneertown



SATURDAY November 27th, 2010, 4:00 PM
The Crystal Cave Project

With Bob Carr,
Merete Vyff Slyngborg and Mette Woller

Sky Village Swap Meet in Yucca Valley is a world of it's own, a dense shanty-like town of booths and stands packed with curios, desert junk, overgrowing 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.

And in the heart of the swap meet is the Crystal Cave - a masterpiece in progress, originally created by Bob Carr, owner and creator of Sky Village Swap Meet. Bob's larger then life personality and creative sensability has been the driving force behind the success of this highly eccentric community.

In 2008, despite the swap meet's popularity, the Yucca Valley City Council decided to take the land that the swap meet was on through eminent domain. As their claim became more and more of a reality, Bob decided to demolish his structures including The Crystal Cave. Finally as the result of a civil uproar, the council gave the land back to Bob. Unfortunately Bob was left with a broken Crystal Cave as well as what he describes as a broken heart.

In admiration and respect for Bob and all that he represents, two Danish Art and Curatorial students: Merete Vyff Slyngborg and Mette Woller are now working with him on the restoration of the cave. The recreation of the cave is now a project implemented by Bob, Merete and Mette as a single united force.

On the 27th of November Merete, Mette and Bob will present The Crystal Cave Project in its current and never-ending state.
Musicians Caan Hamlet, JP Hudson and Ryan Erskine will perform a a music composition produced especially for The Crystal Cave, as everyone enjoys a magical evening filled with compelling crystals and dazzling champagne.

Please join us for the event at the Sky Village Swap Meet from 4:00 pm into the evening.

7028 Theater Road (Just off Hwy 247, right behind Barr Lumber) , Yucca Valley, CA 92286

For further information please contact:
Merete Vyff Slyngborg:
Mette Woller:
SATURDAY October 23rd, 2010, 8 AM - 1 PM


SATURDAY October 23rd, 2010,

Loads of art, desert junk and a sweet old drive-in cafeteria in the middle of sky village swap meet - one of the best shopping environments known to mankind.

Featuring projects, editions and booths by: Pentti Monkkonen, Green Gallery (Milwaukee), The Group Formerly Known as Smockshop, Cool Art, Sandy Yang/ Gabie Strong, Alice Konitz, Josh Blackwell, Derek Larson, Josh Brand/ Bianca Beck, Mary Ping, Anne Eastman/ Benjamin Butler, Petrova Giberson, David Benjamin Sherry, Michele Abeles, Jacob Robichaux, Gloria & Shawn Maximo, Noah Sheldon, Nick Mauss, Josh Kline, Michael Stickrod, Andrew Kuo, Caroline Battle, Peter Christenson, Nicholas Dowgwillo, Andrew Hadle, Laurie Minnick, Kathleen Moore, Brett Schieszer, Emily Stergar, Christopher Torrez, Patrick Monroe, Kelsey Wiskirchen, Asha Schechter, Andy Spore, and more...

Sky Village Swap Meet
7028 Theatre Road, Yucca Valley, California
Behind Barr Lumber, off of Old Woman Springs Road.


SATURDAY October 23rd, 2010, 4:00 PM to Sunset

Hannah and Scott's works are making their return to their original high desert test site up in scenic Pioneertown - Join us for a sunset celebration with chili and beer at 4:00 PM, after Amy and Wendy Yao's Art Swap meet - Saturday October 23rd.

From 29 Palms Hwy turn north at Pioneertown Road. Drive 7.5 miles up the hill, through Pioneertown to Pipes Canyon Road. Turn right on Pipes Canyon Road. Drive 2.2 miles to Gamma Gulch Rd., turn left (Respect our neighbors - do not drive above 20 mph on this road!) Drive 1.6 miles to God's Way Love (sign may have blown off), turn right. Drive .4 miles



October 9th and 10th, 2010
The Von Tundra Event -
Hosted by Brooks Hudson Thomas of Specific

On Friday Brooks of Specific, Brad, the Von Tundra guys (Dan, Brian and Chris) arrived at A-Z West along with their crew and cohorts Coleen, Cyan, Zach and Christian, for of a really super incredible and intense weekend.

The event kicked off on Friday night with a cocktail party at Blake’s new motel the Mojave Sands (with delicious Persian food brought out by Dorna), and continued on Saturday with a watermelon rind pickling workshop by Coleen, A make shade workshop by VonTundra, A really nice artists talk by the VT guys, and an insanely delicious dinner by chef Colleen French of the Renegade Dining Club in the A-Z Wash

….followed by an even more stupendous brunch the following morning. By Sunday night everyone sunburned and muscle-sore from lugging tables, chairs, loads of food and of course beverages back and forth to the far end of the wash – but it was so totally worth all the hard work.

Brooks was great, he VonTundra crew are amazing and we want them to make a winter studio in Joshua Tree, the participants were totally interesting, generous and incredibly good sports – and as always the volunteers made all of this possible and saved the day by jumping in every time one of us were in over our heads. (thank you so much Dorna, Merete, and Mette!)

The VonTundra project is going to be presented at Specific until November 6th, so don't miss the VT guys and chef Coleen French at the 5PM Renegade BBQ this Saturday, 5PM at 7374 Beverly Blvd.



October 9th and 10th, 2010

Saturday October 9th and Sunday October 10th

We do what we do so we can do more of what we want to do. We’re interested in the marriage of art and design, where our approach includes conceptualizing a project to prototyping it to producing it. We believe good design should have a positive impact on the space it exists in and the people who experience that space. (Von Tundra excerpt from an interview with the Dill Pickle Club)

On the weekend of October 9th and 10th SPECIFIC will present Von Tundra, the Portland, based design-team and artist-collective (including Dan Anderson, Chris Held and Brian Pietrowski), who will be loading up their custom-made “Sip-Mobile”, a vintage RV converted into an Organic Food & Juice Truck, with their Rockwell Table and over a dozen Prairie Chairs and heading south to the high desert.

The Von Tundra weekend at A-Z West will kick off with a Watermelon Rind Pickling Workshop led by the collective’s long-time friend, Renegade-Dining-Club Chef, Colleen French. Following the workshop will be an artists talk by Von Tundra, cocktails, a pre-sunset dinner prepared by Chef French, a party and installation of the SPECIFIC APARTMENT at the HDTS HQ, and finally a Sunday brunch also prepared by French. All meals will be served family style, at Von Tundra’s Rockwell Table situated in a beautiful wash adjacent to A-Z West. Camping is allowed on the property for those who wish to spend the night under the stars. At the end of the weekend’s events the sun-baked relics and video documentation of the weekend will be dusted off and brought back to LA where they will be exhibited at SPECIFIC – the exhibition will continue at SPECIFIC (7374 Beverly Boulevard) through November 6, 2010

Because of the very special and intimate scale of this event there will be enough room for 10 people at the workshop, dinner, camping and brunch at A-Z West. Reservations can be made by a donation of $120 that goes directly to the designers and the chef.


All day on Saturday the SPECIFIC APARTMENT will be featured at the HDTS HQ in Downtown Joshua Tree. The SPECIFIC APARTMENT is an installation furnished with objects curated by Brooks Hudson Thomas and will include work by Jamison Carter, Marie Christophe, Mark Golamco, Tim Lewis, Susanna Maing, Tim McAleece, Sean McDonald, D’Ette Nogle, Jalal Poehlman, Mark Roeder, Denyse Schmidt as well as Atelier Takagi, The Common Studio, Grupo-Bio, Scout Regalia, todosomething, Woolly Pocket & WORKSTEAD.

On Saturday evening at the HDTS HQ in downtown Joshua Tree there will be a party OPEN TO ALL featuring cocktails from completely fabulous Von Tundra “Sip- Mobile”, music from DJ Dakota of todosomething and viewings of the SPECIFIC APARTMENT


Saturday October 9th and Sunday October 10thSaturday 12:00 Colleen French Pickling Workshop (reservation required)
Saturday 2:30 Von Tundra Artists Talk (reservation required)
Saturday 3:30 Afternoon cocktails (reservation required)
Saturday 5:00 Dinner by Colleen French (reservation required)
Saturday 7:00 Party at the HDTS HQ - ALL WELCOME
Includes COCKTAILS from the Von Tundra "Sip Mobile",
Music from DJ Dakota of todosomething, and viewings of the Specific Apartment.
Sunday 10:00 Brunch at A-Z WEST (reservation required)

Please contact Brooks Hudson Thomas to make reservations for the events at A- Z West or for more information 310-867-0520 or

To make a donation to the Von Tundra Kickstarter project please visit:

SPECIFIC is the store-front-project-space curated by Brooks Hudson Thomas. Part shop/part gallery, Specific is proud to exhibit work by contemporary artists, designers and architects along with unusual found objects. 7374 Beverly Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90036 323-930-0220 t / 323-930-0248

June, 2010

Want to know how you can you get involved in HDTS?

1. Send us a proposal for a long term context or site related project that we can list on our permanent driving map.

2. Send us a proposal for one of our curated HDTS events (the next one will be in May, 2011)

3. Volunteer to help us either at the HDTS HQ, or working on projects with artists or workshop leaders.

4. Come visit us, buy something from our micro gift shop, check out the sites or take a workshop with the New Everyday Life (a schedule for fall events will be coming soon)

May 1st and 2nd, 2010

The first episode of the New Everyday Life took place this weekend - four workshops over two days, migrating through a swath of locations in and out of Joshua Tree.

Wells Pollock in his school bus leather working studio encampment on the edge of the 29 Palms marine base.

Trinie Dalton teaches a amazing array of bookmaking stitches at A-Z West Cabin.

Chantale Doyle slide show about living for one year in her vegi-oil powered VW Vanagon while supporting herself by selling on ebay.

Katie Grinnan demos beer-making on the sunny back patio at A-Z West.

A High Desert Test Sites Lecture & Workshop Series

HDTS Headquarters
6470 Veterans Way
Joshua Tree, CA 92252


Join us for our premier pilot weekend of The New Everyday Life, a lecture and workshop series that will commence Saturday May 1st-Sunday May 2nd 2010.
In keeping with the HDTS mission to create truly alternative spaces for art that challenges traditional conventions of ownership, presentation and patronage, The New Everyday Life will bring together guest artists and participants whose talent and knowledge varies widely but who all share a desire to approach daily life with a blend of both experimental and practical thinking. For our weekend-long symposium that includes four workshops and an open-air dinner, we will enroll twelve students in an immersive suite of 2 hour classes held in special locations in and around the Morongo Basin.
The New Everyday Live is an endeavor designed to both stimulate conversation and catalyze action by considering overlap between contemporary art and craft, sustainable living, survival skills, ecology and earth science, and cultural variation. Each participant in The New Everyday Life will leave with a new set of skills and inspirations, after intimately experiencing the Mojave desert’s unique context for life and living.


Saturday May 1st
12:00. Meet for introduction and driving maps at the HDTS Headquarters in sunny downtown Joshua Tree.
12:30 – 2:30 Visit Wells Pollock in his school bus leather working studio encampment on the edge of the marine base and learn how to do bootleg leatherworking using readily available household tools and implements.
3:30 – 5:30 Hang out with Trinie Dalton at A-Z West Cabin and practice bookmaking stitches to make a book about your experience of the desert. (Note: Dalton will contact participants in advance about prep, supplies, and other details to maximize stitch-learning time. Beginners to advanced bookmakers welcome.)
6:30 – 9:30 Travel to section six with Chantale Doyle to learn more about how she lived for one year in her vegi-oil powered VW Vanagon while supporting herself by selling on ebay.
Dinner. Chantale will fix everyone an exotic fish taco dinner on her van's cookstove.
Sunday May 2nd
12:00 – 2:00: Meet on the patio of A-Z West for a beer-making workshop with Katie Grinnan and a goodbye toast with her special honey basil, peach, and ginger brews.


Chantale Doyle is an artist who lives in the Mojave desert near Joshua Tree. In 2007 Doyle spent a year living and traveling in a Volkswagen van powered by waste vegetable oil, which she learned to collect from dumpsters and filter to use as fuel for her vehicle. While traveling through twenty-four states and three provinces, Doyle created an exhibition of drawings that was shown in Japan, Canada and California in 2009. Doyle is now at work on a book about her experiences and continuing her efforts to live in a manner that nurtures creative independence. She owns Mt. Fuji General Store, next door to the HDTS headquarters.
For more info click here
Or here

Wells Pollock was born on a Minnesota commune. Before moving to Joshua Tree to start a goat farm, he lived in New York City, the Mississippi River Valley, Spain, Holland and San Francisco, organizing experimental film screenings and music events. As a performance artist he once threw a year-long conceptual art and psychic orgy in Iowa City. He’s done everything from renovating a 16th century goat shack in southern Spain to cooking on a squatted boat in Amsterdam. He learned leatherworking at an S&M factory in San Francisco. Of this he says, “Leatherworking is one of humankind's most basic crafts. Unfortunately, most of it now doesn't match up with anybody's visions. My goal is to help people realize their dreams of belts, collars, wristbands and so much more. I like making things that are beautiful, functional and that my friends can still afford! Most of the leather I use is salvaged and I am working on designing my own hardware.” Pollock lives in a renovated school bus on the Copper Mountain Mesa.

Trinie Dalton has authored, curated, and/or co-edited five books: Wide Eyed (Akashic), A Unicorn Is Born (Abrams), Dear New Girl or Whatever Your Name Is (McSweeney's), Mythtym (Picturebox) and Sweet Tomb (Madras Press). Her books vary between pure text and experiments with art + image. She teaches bookarts at NYU and Pratt, and exhibits or builds lectures around her handmade books’ subject matter. Her most recent event/exhibitions were at Deitch Projects in New York for Gelatin’s PIG Sunday School series, and at Las Cienegas Projects in Los Angeles. Her next book will be published by Ecstatic Peace Library.
For more info click here

Katie Grinnan is an internationally exhibiting artist from Los Angeles. Her work focuses on using imagery and physicality to exploit the alchemical nature of perception and space. Her interest in making beer began by happenstance, stopping into a beer making shop and realizing that beer is a sort of homespun alchemical process. It's everyday magic. Her beer is called Wizard Brew.


The cost is $120 per person for the weekend that includes Chantale's fish taco dinner. All proceeds are used to cover basic event expenses and to pay the speakers.

Due to the intimate nature of this event the group will be limited to twelve people. No application is needed, but spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis. If you would like to enroll please email – you will be emailed instructions so that you can pay via Paypal, the first 12 people who pay will be signed up for the course.

A limited amount of campsites are available on Zittel’s property, and can be pre-arranged with the host on a first come, first serve basis. Alternately, camping in Joshua Tree National Park or staying in a local hotel are excellent options. For lodging recommendations please visit the HDTS website’s Directions page.
For future updates and event listings for future incarnations of The New Everyday Life email us at


March 2010: Readying the Headquarters

February and March have been spent refurbishing the new HDTS HQ - Sam replaced the water damaged acoustical tile ceiling, mom and dad ripped out the carpet and hauled it to the Landers Landfill. Wells scraped and repainted the floors. And I found the perfect desk that Guy and Travis had to drive all the way to Newport Beach to pick up.

By the end of March The "Living School" and the after-school "People and Plants" groups have been running out of the back room for a little over a month - we have a small garden growing in the courtyard, a worm bin full of worms munching on kitchen compost, and an amazing mushroom garden.

In the meantime local artists and past HDTS participants are sending in material for the HDTS archive and bookstore which will be up and running in the front room/visitor's center as soon as Brenndan builds the bookshelves.

Once the visitor's center and bookstore are up and running we will need help sitting it on the weekends. Volunteers will be paid a commission of the sales - so come in, meet people in friendly downtown Joshua Tree, explain the driving maps aren't to scale (!) and help us keep our doors open.

If you are able to be in the area at least one weekend every other month and would like to help out let us know at High Desert



February 2010: New Programing for the New HQ

A Day in the Life of “People and Plants: Fostering Partnerships between Children and the Living World” workshop by Laura Lawler and Anna Beck: Day 2

1) Examine sprouts from Tuesday
(The children identified that the alfalfa seeds had gotten bigger, their seed coats began to burst, and “white tail” began to emerge)
2) Explore lettuce seedling garden and transplant crowded greens into their own containers
(The children learned how to handle delicate seedlings by the leaves, learned the concept of needing “room to grow”, and learned how to keep seedlings moist by spraying with spray bottles)
3) Read The Night Life of the Yucca
(The children discussed companionship between the yucca flower and the moth, introduced the concept of pollination which we will be dealing with in hands-on activities in coming weeks)
3) Snack Break
(The children enjoyed organic popcorn and discovered the “seed coat” still attached to the kernels)
4) Plant Tomatoes
(The children planted an entire flat of tomatoes which will be used in our future garden projects)
5) Make Upside-Down Mint Planters!
(This was a very successful advanced project using recycled plastic bottles to make upside-down planters which the children thought were SO SILLY! Over time, these will demonstrate how plants move to search for sunlight as the hanging mint will re-orient themselves and curve towards the light)
6) Free Play

Now we are ready for our group to “grow.” Please feel free to e-mail if you have any questions about the program or if you have a kid who is interested in getting started:

January 2010: A new location to go with our new programming

In a few weeks we will be moving into our new HDTS Headquarters in lovely downtown Joshua Tree. Come visit us at 6470 Veterans Way, behind Teacakes Bakery and next to our friend Chantale at Mt Fuji General Store.

The HDTS HQ will include a small visitors welcome center where you can read more information about contemporary art projects happening in the high desert and we will also begin hosting a series of workshops. (more about this coming soon).

Because the operation runs on a zero budget we are always highly in need of volunteers. We are looking for responsible, hardworking, fun people to come work with us in the high desert. Some things that need help with are fixing up the space, managing operations over the weekends, and fleshing out our archive which is slowly but surely coming together.

If you are ready and willing to work email us here.

Or if you would like to be sent email announcements about future productions let us know here.



January 2010: A New Format for HDTS

The High Desert Test Sites, first inaugurated in 2002, are a series of experimental art sites located along a stretch of desert communities including Pioneer town, Joshua Tree, 29 Palms and Wonder Valley. These locations generate truly alternative spaces for art that challenges traditional conventions of ownership, presentation and patronage. Asking the question “what role does contemporary art play in the world at large?” HDTS strives to interject contemporary art into a world of pickup trucks, new age meditation retreats, one stop supermarket shopping, dirt bike enthusiasts, rock climbing encampments, plastic surgery billboards and marine combat training.

Since its inception HDTS has hosted seven intermittent events and presented projects by over 150 artists. Our “intimate audience” (deliberately kept small by a somewhat loose attitude toward planning and promotion) has traversed countless miles of dirt road and participated in panoply of increasingly experimental approaches toward making art public.

After seven years we decided to take some time off in order to examine both the successes and failures of this larger undertaking, and at the end of this period have emerged with renewed faith in the validity of the exercise and a new series of programming. If there is one thing that we have learned so far, it is that sometimes just being here brings up so many issues to think about, that when there is a rush to “produce’ it can actually hamper one’s ability to have larger experience or to truly process the place.

In light of this we will now begin to generate a new three-part program based on the process of “absorption and assimilation” with the ultimate goal to create a “test site” where artists, organizers and audience alike will explore the role art plays in everyday life and in the world at large.

Each year High Desert Test Sites will invite four guests ranging from curators, writers, thinkers, artists, to all around “doers” who we admire and feel embody similar interests and ambitions as those represented by the HDTS mission. These are people who we feel we will learn from, and who we want to engage with in dialog that will ultimately further and advance our understandings of the social roles of contemporary art, both in day to day living, and in intimate communities spread throughout the landscape outside of urban cultural centers.

There will be no dictate to produce during this time other then the exchange of ideas. Each guest will be asked to facilitate this idea exchange by either a casual talk at the HDTS headquarters in downtown Joshua Tree, or a short text that we can present to the public as part of our archives.

Each year one of the HDTS guests will be invited to curate an event including up to 6 artists. The events are intended for the both the local community and for a visiting audience and will last for a two-day weekend. There are many forms that the events can take – and many different kinds of artists who can be included. The organizers will have access to all proposals sent into HDTS, and they can also supplement this list with artists they would like to personally invite.

Our HDTS Headqarters will play host to A series of lectures and workshops The New Everyday Life.

Over the last year we have begun work on an archive of all former projects this archive as well as our incoming proposals for new desert projects will be open for viewing at the Headquarters

Get out and see the sites! Driving maps to all current HDTS projects and sites will be available at the Headquarters.

An advisory committee will be engaged who can give advice, propose visitors and participants, and act as general ambassadors for HDTS.
The advisory committee will include the five founding organizers of HDTS as well as a small group of additional selected and valued voices.



Summer and Fall, 2009

High Desert Test Site is hard at work making an archive! In a few months you will be able to check this out on our website and hopefully eventually also as a book – but in the meantime we need YOUR help.

It turns out that at every event the folks affiliated with HDTS were usually out running around making everything went off without a hitch, (remember flipping burgers in the kitchen of the Palms for HDTS 3, or trying to find the 40’ HQ tent after it vanished right in the middle of HDTS 08?) Consequently we didn’t always manage to take such great photos of each project.

If you have attended any of our past HDTS events are several ways that you can help us:

1. We are in need of high res digital photos of any of the projects. You can mail a CD of these to PO Box 1058, Joshua Tree CA 92252.

2. Because we believe that the experiences that you ultimately have in the high desert are as important as the art you originally thought you were coming out to see, we want to collect stories about the trials and tribulations - either to view art-works or to make them (did you meet new people, get stuck in the sand, camp out during a raging windstorm?)

Send us your story and pics – we will be most grateful for them, and will make sure that you are warmly credited for your contribution. Send these to

3. If you are a past artist we will probably be contacting you to work on a short description of your project - but you think that we don’t already have this you can help us by sending it in to us early.




November 2008:


It may be over, but it is not yet forgotten - HDTS CB08

We like to send out a belated, but deeply heartfelt, thank you to the volunteers and participants who made it happen:

To the California Biennial Curator and the team:
Thank you Lauri Firstenberg and to LA><ART and For Your Art!

To the artists:
Hannah Greely, Jonathan Hernandez, Patrick Jackson, Alice Konitz, Joel Kyack, Ann Magnuson, Thom Merrick, Yoshua Okon, Jack Pierson, Ry Rocklin, Julia Scher, Marnie Weber and the Spirit Girls, Wonder Valley Institute of Contemporary Art, Amy & Wendy Yao's Art Swap Meet

To the staff and organizers:
Alexandra Wetzel our new and amazing administrative director, Shaun Regen our most enduring and supportive founding organizer, David Dodge for our publication design and Chris O'Hurley our intern.

And to our volunteers - without you we could not do what we do:
Sarah Nesbit and Alex
Aram Moshayedi
Tellef Tellefson
Christian Hacket
Thomas Stevenson
Daniel Pelt
Daiana Feuer
Sarah Williamson
Stacy Bengtson
Heather Harmon
Kate Kendall
Chris Bott
Anna Beck
Laura Lawler
Faith Purvey
Carole Frances Lung
Sarah Haughton
Stephen Walters
Tiffany Barber
Joy Anderson
Cesar Garcia
Alex Romano
Drew Dencker
Jessica Mellen
Lucas Clauser
Senna Chen
Tessa Helgerson
Alexandra Stapleton
And last but not least, thank you to Mary, Laura and James at the Palms




Announcing HDTS CB08:

On November 7th, 8th and 9th, 2008, The High Desert Test Sites will host an expanded desert event in connection with the California Biennial.

Under the vision Lauri Firstenberg, curator of this year’s California Biennial, the exhibition has expanded beyond the scope of the museum to engage venues and sites from as far south as Tijuana, and as north as San Francisco. As a non-institution dedicated to the encouragement and support of art that "lives in the world" HDTS will host the following artists for a three day event.

HDTS CB08 is affiliated with the 2008 California Biennial, organized by the Orange County Museum of Art.

HDTS is produced for CB08 with LA><ART Public Art Initiatives and Foryouart.

The map is now available in two downloadable parts:
Click here for Western sites and Eastern sites

*Project descriptions, and the program of events will be available at the HDTS HQ and information center next to Coyote Corner on Park Blvd in downtown Joshua Tree. (the directions page tells you how to get to the high desert from just about anywhere)

HDTS CB08 Artists Include:

Hannah Greely
Jonathan Hernandez
Patrick Jackson
Alice Konitz
Joel Kyack
Ann Magnuson
Thom Merrick
Yoshua Okon
Jack Pierson
Ry Rocklin
Julia Scher
Marnie Weber and the Spirit Girls
Wonder Valley Institute of Contemporary Art (WVICA)
Amy & Wendy Yao's Art Swap Meet

Check out the swap meet website

If you would like to stay abreast of HDTS updates, events and projects send an email to mailing


* We are also looking for responsible, sturdy, fun volunteers to manage the HDTS headquarters and to help various artists with their projects throughout the weekend. If you are willing to help please email Alex at


PLEASE NOTE: The High Desert Test Sites is a multi-site event. Attendance is at your own risk. By attending the HDTS, you agree to assume sole responsibility for any risk and to release anyone associated with the HDTS, the CABiennial 08, and LAX from all claims relating to any injury, damage or loss you may suffer or cause while in the desert. Thank you - and have a great time!



Announcing: The Moab Video Project by Christy Gast

The Moab Video Project is a year-long curatorial project organized by artist Christy Gast, for a TV station in Moab, Utah. Moab, a small town nestled in a green valley between unimaginable red sandstone cliffs, was settled by farmers in the 19th century, and began booming during the age of uranium mining. The town consists of a business district along the highway, with neighborhoods squeezed on either size. Because of the cliffs, its growth is limited. Tourism is the main industry, and people come from all over the world to see Arches National Park, where Ed Abbey wrote Desert Solitaire.

In 2006 Christy spent the summer in Moab exploring the wilderness and tending a big garden - during that time she met the owner of Mac 21, an extremely local television channel. It was the first channel in the world to have a cable news broadcast. The signal from the nearest news channel didn't reach Moab because of its geographic situation, so the cable channel started broadcasting an all-volunteer news program. They covered the county commission meetings in a seriously in-depth manner. Needless to say, the commissioners weren't impressed. They covered Jeeps getting stuck on the sides of cliffs, Christy says that she has seen amazing footage of the newsreader reporting on this. The first cable news broadcast was extremely microcosmic.

Christy helped Jim from Mac21 set up his new studio and taught him how to use Final Cut Pro. Now Mac21 doesn't need to cover the news anymore--there are other accessible outlets--but there are long features on the Chinese restaurant, mountain biking safety, and homes for sale, always shot with these incredible cliffs in the background. After returning to NY she proposed to curate a short video program for Moab, which turned into a year-long project. Mac21 is now airing one artist's video every week for the year of 2008. The videos are inserted into normal programming, and each video is broadcasted once every hour or so for one week. Much of the impetus for this project was inspired by the singularity of the setting, and the mythology of landscape. Christy says that when she looks at videos for the program, she tries to think about watching them in a motel room. “Sometimes I have specific people in mind. Sometimes I imagine the desert watching.” All videos are less than 5 minutes long and follow FCC regulations.





The HDTS Headquarters Open Saturdays
11 AM until 5PM


New Everyday Life Workshops
BLAST SITE: A Field Guide to Excavating Our Future Failures
Saturday May 14th - Sunday May 15th.
Rescheduled for November 12/13


New Everyday Life Workshops
Saturday April 30th - Sunday May 1st.


Amy and Wendy Yao's Art Swapmeet has been planned for Saturday, October 23rd.
For more info click here


The Living School (for kids pre-k through first grade) will start it's fall session on September 7th.