High Desert Test Sites generates 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.  

High Desert Test Sites was founded by Andrea Zittel, Shaun Caley Regen, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Andy Stillpass and John Conelly. It is currently administered by Andrea Zittel and Aurora Tang.

-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, contributing to a community in which art can truly make a difference.