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!

from the desert to the sea
This Desert Builds the Curve of the Earth / Sea Space in Denmark, 14/9-2012
september 14, 2012 in joshua tree / september 15 - 18, 2012 in copenhagen

189 Stills from this desert builds the curve of the earth (Katie Bachler, 2012) and SEA SPACE IN DENMARK, 14/9-2012 (Anja Franke, 2012)

HDTS Scout Katie Bachler sends the desert to the sea in this film exchange with Anja Franke / Instant HERLEV institut in Denmark.

Join us for a casual outdoor screening of this desert builds the curve of the earth and SEA SPACE IN DENMARK, 14/9-2012 and live music in the HDTS HQ courtyard in downtown Joshua Tree on Friday September 14, 2012 at 8 pm.

This desert builds the curve of the earth will screen concurrently in Copenhagen September 15-18, 2012, as part of the Black Tent Tower exhibition organized by Instant HERLEV institute.

Friday, September 14, 2012, 8 pm*
High Desert Test Sites HQ
6470 Veterans Way
Joshua Tree, California

September 15 – 18, 2012
Black Tent Tower
Krøyers Plads, Copenhagen

HDTS 2013


We are now accepting project proposals for HDTS 2013!

HDTS 2013, the ninth program in a series of free ranging and ever evolving contemporary art events, will expand our range and depth to take in everything from Joshua Tree, California to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The event will take place over an entire week, October 12 - 19, 2013, during which artists and audience alike traverse the desolate desert roads and explore the hidden gems, both old and new, between Joshua Tree and Albuquerque.

Projects can take place at any site either in or between Joshua Tree and Albuquerque. 


All project proposals should include:

• Description of project: What do you want to do?
• Description of site: Where do you plan to do it?  Do you have access or permission to use this site?
• Duration of project: How long will your installation or performance be on view—do you envision a one-time performance for the HDTS 2013 event, or a long-term installation?
• Any images or supporting material

Please save all submissions in PDF file format, with the file labeled as followed: firstname_lastname_hdts2013.pdf  (for example andrea_zittel_hdts2013.pdf).

All proposals must be emailed to info@highdeserttestsites.com by January 31, 2013 for consideration.  Please specify “HDTS 2013 Proposal” in the email subject heading. 

(Those without internet access may mail a paper copy of their proposal to the HDTS HQ at 6470 Veterans Way, Joshua Tree, California 92252.)


Do artists have to select their own sites ahead of time, or will HDTS help locate project sites?
HDTS has always been about getting out and exploring what's around you, and about discovering new and interesting places and people.  This is the first time we've had an open call for proposals, but we're hoping the process will inspire people to embrace their curiosity and explore new terrain, or share an old favorite special spot, resulting in truly site-specific project proposals.  And, of course, applicants are welcome to develop proposals for existing HDTS sites as well.  We just want to keep things open-ended and see what brilliant ideas people come up with!

Joshua Tree to Albuquerque encompasses a lot of turf!  How do I know if the project site I have in mind is within the HDTS 2013 boundaries?
The rough boundaries are Joshua Tree to the west, Albuquerque to the east, I-40 to the north, and I-10 to the south--everything within or near these imaginary lines is fair game!  (You can always send us a note if you are unsure.)  

When will the HDTS 2013 event take place?
HDTS 2013
will take place October 12 – 19, 2013.

Will HDTS provide an artist stipend or budget for projects that have been selected for inclusion in HDTS 2013?
Unfortunately, at the moment, we are unable to promise any financial support for selected projects.

When will applicants be notified about inclusion in HDTS 2013?
Applicants will be notified by mid-March 2013.

Who is on the HDTS 2013 selection committee?
The HDTS 2013 selection committee is comprised of HDTS administration and guests Dave Hickey and Libby Lumpkin.

Join the HDTS mailing list to make sure you receive all HDTS 2013 updates!