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High Desert Test Sites

WELCOME TO THE REAL of the Desert: rocks, heat, cacti, empty beer cans, all-terrain vehicles, horizon, fire ants, lizards—and contemporary art.

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and we’re heading east from Los Angeles on the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway, more prosaically known as Route 10. We pass Diamond Bar, Rancho Cucamonga, and other barely distinguishable towns, about two hours later approaching the giant windmills of Morongo that mark the passage from the semi-arid desert to the arid extra-dry desert. Our destination is High Desert Test Sites, a project providing alternative space in the Southern California desert for more than thirty artists to make and show experimental work. Organized by artist Andrea Zittel, gallerists John Connelly and Shaun Caley Regen, and collector Andy Stillpass, HDTS, according to its website, undertakes “to challenge traditional conventions of

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