HDTS 2013 - Proposals Due January 31!


The clock's ticking to submit project proposals for HDTS 2013!  This year's event will be like past big events, but we're changing things up a bit–HDTS 2013 will take place over a full week, and will include sites between Joshua Tree and Albuquerque.  We're also holding an open call for proposals for the first time ever, and we're really looking forward to seeing what great ideas everyone comes up with!  


Mark your calendar...

January 31, 2013 
Proposals Due

Mid-March, 2013
Selected Applicants Notified 

April 20, 2013
HDTS 2013 Fundraising Extravaganza (details announced soon)

October 12–19, 2013
HDTS 2013 Event 

New at the HQ

It's all new at the HDTS HQ!  Check out our great new inventory of postcards, gems & minerals, desert survival necessities, and books covering every subject from the Situationists to Solar Ovens...all at the HDTS Life Enhancement Shop.

PLUS, we'll be open additional hours THIS SATURDAY, December 8, from 5 - 8 pm.  Scout Katie will be hosting a map making workshop, Angela will be sharing her signature raw vegan treats, and Peggy will be doing tarot card readings.  And did we mention there will be free veggie stew?  BYOBowl and spoon - or better yet, buy a bowl next door at our new neighbors bkb ceramics and one of the nifty camping cutlery sets on sale at the HDTS HQ! (Extra bonus - all proceeds benefit future HDTS programming!)

And don't forget to check out what's new in the project room in the back of the HQ!  We're now screening The Legend of Rosalie, a wonderful 10-minute documentary by filmmaker Nicholas Berger that tells the story of Rosalie, a beautiful and mysterious woman who built a library out of salvaged objects more than 200 feet below sea level in the little desert community of Slab City.  And speaking of libraries, browse our growing desert library.  (We're always looking for suggestions for new additions to our library, too, so let us know if you think of anything we're missing!)  Save the date for the Joshua Tree branch of the Reanimation Library as well, which will be coming to the HDTS HQ project room February 16 - March 31, 2013.

One last thing, we have some new Scout's programming at the HQ.   Scout Katie has a new weekly class, Art in the Environment for Desert Kids, and we started a Scout's Book Club!  All are invited to join us once a month as we read and talk about a new book about space and desert life.  (This month's selection is Edward Abbey's classic Desert Solitaire; last month was Storming the Gates of Paradise by Rebecca Solnit.)  Check back here and our HDTS Facebook page for updates, or email scout@highdeserttestsites.com to learn more!  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 8, 2012, 7 - 9 pm at the HQ.

Hits of Sunshine - This Saturday!
november 3-4, 2012

220 Photo: Jodi Darby

In early October, Lisa Schonberg, Heather Treadway, and Allan Wilson, rolled into Joshua Tree from Portland, Oregon in two vehicles packed high with drums and speakers (Allan was actually on tour with his band chk!chk!chk! and played four shows on the way down.)  Since then, they've been living for a month outdoors in the sunshine and rocks, sighting bobcats and bighorn sheep, while amassing a black widow count of 13 (causing mild PTSD anytime one of them has to reach into a dark cavity).  Throughout the month they have been hard at work on a multifaceted new body of sound work and band uniforms (designed by Heather using a palate inspired by purple cactus on Garth's land).

This work will premiere this weekend, November 3 - 4, 2013, at High Desert Test Sites, beginning at 5:00 pm Saturday at A-Z West, where guests will follow the artists through different parts of the land for a series of site-specific performances.  Audiences will head to the shipping container courtyard for a contact mic performance from TJO and NICK+JAMES, then hike up to a rocky outcropping where Allan will debut 5 new compositions based on local field recordings (including the sound of barrel cactus needles, desert mistletoe, local radio transmissions, yucca plants, wind (!), Wagon Stations opening and closing, and the sun moving across the outdoor kitchen roof).  Finally, the entire Hits of Sunshine crew will play a very special set under the stars, including works such as Fuck the 7-11 Across the Street, Von’s Tundra, and Tin Pan Allan—with a brilliant film and light program by Julie Perini projected onto the surrounding boulders throughout the evening.

The event continues Sunday, with a performance at the most remote HDTS site: Sound Camp.  Sited in a natural amphitheater of giant boulders, the Hits of Sunshine crew will perform an acoustic set, joined by collaborators Tara Jane Oneil and NICK+JAMES.

After the event, keep your eyes peeled for the documentary about it all by Jodi Darby!

Saturday, November 3, 2012
Nighttime Performance: 5:00–??? pm, A-Z West

Sunday, November 4, 2012
Daytime Performance: 11:00 am caravan from the HDTS HQ, Sound Camp

The 2012 Hits of Sunshine Tour includes:

Lisa Schonberg (Secret Drum Band/STLS/Explode Into Colors)  
Heather Treadway (fashion designer/Explode Into Colors/Secret Drum Band)
Allan Wilson (chk!chk!chk!)
Tara Jane Oneil (musician)
Julie Perini (filmmaker)
NICK+JAMES (dancers)


Hits of Sunshine
november 3-4, 2012

219 Photo: Dan Anderson

High Desert Test Sites is very pleased to present HITS OF SUNSHINE, a multimedia performance by a group of Portland & Los Angeles-based artists.  The Hits of Sunshine crew, including members of !!! (chk chk chk), Explode Into Colors, musician Tara Jane Oneil, and filmmaker Julie Perini, spent a month at A-Z West collaborating on a new body of work inspired by desert life and surroundings.  The resulting performance features fashion, film, dance, sound installation, and a live percussion ensemble, all playing out over the course of a daylong event.

Saturday, November 3, 2012
Nighttime Performance: 5:00–??? pm, A-Z West

Sunday, November 4, 2012
Daytime Performance: 11:00 am caravan from the HDTS HQ, Sound Camp

The components of Hits of Sunshine have coevolved from the common source material of the details of desert life, and will be integrated in a series of site-specific presentations. Allan Wilson is building a sound installation using a multitude of speakers, for which he's composing music using field recordings they've gathered in the area; these recordings have also been a focal point of Lisa Schonberg's percussion compositions. Julie and Heather Treadway will visually reflect on the desert through video and fashion.  Heather is crafting performance attire from hand-dyed textiles for the daytime performance, and white reflective costumes for the evening.  Julie will create video projections that are synched to the music. And lastly, employing stone age technology with human anatomical truths and electronic devices, TJO will be sounding, listening, and colliding with objects and the space between them. 

Stayed tuned for performance sites and driving directions.  (Join the HDTS mailing list to make sure you don't miss an update!)  In the meantime, take a look at our FAQ to help you prepare for the event, and learn more about the Hits of Sunshine crew and what they've been up to!

Sun Clock / The Claim
october 6, 2012



Please join us Saturday, October 6, 2012 as we welcome two new projects to High Desert Test Sites:

Lea Cetera

Andy's Gamma Gulch

Chris Engman

Undisclosed location (visit the HDTS HQ or email info@highdeserttestsites.com for information about visiting the site)

Check out the sites during the day, then help us ring-in Lea and Chris' new projects with drinks, snacks, and overall merrymaking at the HDTS HQ courtyard in downtown Joshua Tree from 4-7 pm.  See you there!