Wired: Mad Genius Buys Volcano, Transforms It Into Naked-Eye Observatory

BY ADAM ELDER

James Turrell in front of Roden Crater, his monumental naked-eye observatory.“I’m very interested in how we perceive, because that’s how we construct the reality in which we live,” Turrell says, “and I like to tweak that a little bit. I make structures that arrest and apprehend light for our perception.” Photo: Florian Holzherr

 

Way out on the edge of the Painted Desert in Arizona, 70-year-old Californian artist James Turrell has spent the past three decades excavating a 389,000-year-old extinct volcano. Roden Crater, as it’s known, is Turrell’s magnum opus. Whenever it’s finally complete, this black and red cinder caldera will be a monumental naked-eye observatory to surpass any throughout history.

Inside, the crater’s naturally lit viewing rooms are precision-engineered to observe specific celestial events. While outside, Turrell has reformed the rim of the crater to create a beautiful “vaulting effect” of the sky in a way that we almost never see it.

“I’m very interested in how we perceive, because that’s how we construct the reality in which we live,” Turrell says, “and I like to tweak that a little bit. I make structures that arrest and apprehend light for our perception.”

Click here to continue article

 

This entry was posted in Outside Source and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *