High Desert Test Sites

Joshua Tree, CA

High Desert Test Sites is a nonprofit arts organization based in Joshua Tree, California.  As a conceptual entity we are dedicated to "learning from what we are not" and the belief that learning from our high desert community can offer new insight and perspectives, often challenging art to take on new areas of relevancy. We engage local and visiting artists, critical thinkers, and general audiences in intimate exchanges and immersive experiences.

HDTS programming includes performance, site-specific installation, workshops, screenings, publications, residencies and immersive excursions. We organize ongoing community based programs such as Kip’s Desert Book Club and High Desert Test Kitchen. Our large roving biennial events feature artworks installed in diverse locations, with many miles in between.

Visitors can pick up guides to the High Desert’s cultural sites at the HDTS HQ at the Sky Village Swap Meet in Yucca Valley. The HQ is open every Saturday, 9 AM–1 PM and is a trove of printed materials, HDTS merch, gems and minerals—right next door to one of our favorite art sites, Bob Carr’s Crystal Cave.

HDTS was co-founded by Andrea Zittel in 2002 and she continues to act as Executive Director. We work with locations and organizations throughout the Morongo Basin, and our day-to-day administrative activities are based at A-Z West, Zittel’s studio and testing grounds for experimental designs in living in Joshua Tree. HDTS is administered by Vanesa Zendejas, Tatiana Vahan, and Elena Yu.