Light and space artist James Turrell has been working for decades on an unprecedented large-scale artwork within a volcanic cinder cone, Roden Crater. A new and innovative partnership between Turrell and Arizona State University will help complete the artist’s magnum opus and also develop an academic element. When complete, the project will contain 21 viewing spaces and six tunnels.
Located in the Painted Desert region of Northern Arizona, Turrell acquired the dormant cinder cone in the late seventies. He has created a site containing tunnels and apertures that open onto skies, capturing light directly from the sun in daylight hours, and the planets and stars at night. The work represents the culmination of the artist’s lifelong research in the field of human visual and psychological perception. It is a controlled environment for the experiencing and contemplation of light, functioning as a naked eye observatory of earthly and celestial events that are both predictable and continually in flux.
ASU’s goal is to help raise at least $200 million over the next two years and to build the infrastructure to support visitors within the next five years.