Organized as a distinct set of changing experiences of light, Turrell's intervention in the natural form of the Roden Crater will consist of a series of chambers, pathways, tunnels, and openings onto the sky from within and around the crater's surface.
The artist's subtle refinement of the natural shape of the crater bowl held 400 feet above the horizon will alter the viewer's perception of the sky.
Like ancient naked-eye observatories from Newgrange to Abu Simbal, certain chambers within the crater will allow us to see and measure the passage of the time through the movement of stars and planets.
Other spaces will reveal the more subjective nature of our human relationship to time, light, and space-the pyrotechnics of sunrise or sunset or the sensation of light as a material substance.
Turrell acknowledges both ancient and modern traditions of art in the landscape, and will create a work of art inseparable from the land and sky from which it is made. Located on land on a working cattle ranch bordered by Native American, Western, ancient and contemporary cultures, Roden Crater is deeply connected to its Arizona landscape and real-world issues, to a degree unequaled by any other work of art.
Monumental in scale and conception, Turrell's Roden Crater is not a monument in any traditional sense. It does not commemorate historical facts or achievements nor is its exterior form even distinct from its natural surroundings. Rather, harnessing the drama of light, landscape, and celestial events; disturbing and awakening our subjective understanding of the universe, Turrell's crater is a monument to human perception itself-without which cultural history or achievement would be impossible.
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