Last year was our first chance to check out High Desert Test Sites since moving to Los Angeles, and it's coming around again May 12–13. My brilliant wife and I had a great time, even if we spent more time in the car than seeing the art, and when we did see the art, guess what—it was hot outside! But it was fun nevertheless, the community spirit of it all. Strangely enough the highlight was doing laughter yoga with a bunch of art snobs. It was a nexus of lame cliches somehow coalescing into a lot of fun. It was almost like we were initiated into California once and for all.
HDTS, if you don't know, is put on once a year in Joshua Tree and Andrea Zittel is one of the organizers. One of the best parts of HDTS is that you get to roam around her property—and if you know anything about her work, you know that that is her work. Her show, currently up at MOCA, is terrific; but it's even better in person.
Last year involved something like twenty or thirty artists or groups, spread miles apart. We therefore missed most of it because we tried to cram it into one day. This year purports to be "more like the early days," with fewer artists (including Zittel, Ann Magnuson, and David Shrigley, among others). Check the site for more details. If you're in Southern California then you should make the trip. For the art, for the fun, for the outdoors, for the sake of getting out of town for a day or two.
My brilliant wife has begun blogging again, I'm happy to say, and if you haven't browsed her blog, upon which I piggyback, take HDTS as your opportunity. She's got a whole smattering of suggestions for hotels and campsites in Joshua Tree.
And if you're thinking about traveling anywhere else—really, anywhere else—you may do well to check in and see if she's got some suggestions for you. Croatia? India? Kentucky? Madrid? Seriously, she has some suggestions for you.