High Desert Test Sites supports experimental art that engages with the local environment and community.
We generate physical and conceptual spaces for art exploring the intersections between contemporary art and life at large. Scattered along a stretch of intimate yet diverse desert communities that include Joshua Tree, Pioneertown, Wonder Valley, Yucca Valley, and 29 Palms, our sites provide a place for both fleeting and long-term experimental projects.
To challenge traditional conventions of ownership, property, and patronage. Most projects will ultimately belong to no one and are intended to melt back into the landscape as new ones emerge.
To “insert” art directly into a life, a landscape, or a community where it will sink or swim based on a set of criteria beyond that of art world institutions and galleries.
To encourage art that remains in the context for which it was created—work will be born, live, and die in the same spot.
To initiate an organism in its own right—one that is bigger and richer than the vision of any single artist, architect, designer, or curator.
To create a “center” outside of any preexisting centers. We are inspired by individuals and groups working outside of existing cultural capitals, who are able to make intellectually rigorous and culturally relevant work in whatever location they happen to be in.
To find common ground between contemporary art and localized art issues.
To contribute to a community in which art can truly make a difference. HDTS exists in a series of communities that edge one of the largest suburban sprawls in the nation. Many of the artists who settle in this area are from larger cities, but want to live in a place where they can shape the development of their own community. For the time being, there is still a feeling in the air that if we join together we can still hold back the salmon stucco housing tracts and big box retail centers. Well maybe.
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Who We Are
Lisa Anne Auerbach
Special thanks to: Sofia Arreguin, Anna Åstrand, Brian Bosworth, Laurel Bybee, Suzanne Calkins, Catherine Davis, Bob Dornberger, Kip Fjeld, Tyler Graim, Brooks Hudson Thomas, Jena Lee, Tara Lemasters, Ari Marcantonio, Deborah Martin, Peggy Pabustan, Megan Plunkett, Tina Poppy, Hannah Stearn, Catharine Stebbins, Angela Suchey, Geoff Tuttle, Kerri Tuttle, Julie Weiman, Kate Wertheimer, Matthew Williams, Mette Woller, Patrick Woody, and Lucas Wrench.