Monday, February 18, 2013

James Turrell: Roden Crater

Land artist James Turrell is currently at work on one of the largest pieces of art on the planet--his Roden Crater, begun in 1979. He is transforming the three-mile-wide site (located near Flagstaff, Arizona) into an enormous installation: an observatory of sorts, configured towards the summer and winter solstices. This work functions as a massive nexus between heaven and earth, and as such is an outrageously ambitious project. Vast, empty, and suffused with light, it represents a true American Sublime.

Of his work, Turrell says, "It’s about perception. For me, it’s using light as a material to influence or affect the medium of perception. I feel that I want to use light as this wonderful and magic elixir that we drink as Vitamin D through the skin—and I mean, we are literally light-eaters—to then affect the way that we see. We live within this reality we create, and we’re quite unaware of how we create the reality. So the work is often a general koan into how we go about forming this world in which we live, in particular with seeing."

I would love to experience this site in person. I imagine one would feel dwarfed by the immensity of both earth and sky.

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