James Turrell

James Turrell is a contemporary American artist who is interested in the dimensions of light, and its effect on how we perceive the world around us. Though renowned predominantly for his work from the 60s (for example), he has been working on a project of enormous natural scale in recent years.

Art:21 is a PBS series which chronicled some American artists. They did a profile of Turrell in their "Spirituality" episode. At the time (and I believe still today) he was working on the Roden Crater, which he describes in an interview:
TURRELL: Well, right now we're on top of Roden Crater, which is on the western edge of Painted Desert. And we're looking at the San Francisco peaks volcanic field. There are over four hundred craters; this is one of them. And this is the easternmost crater, perhaps tied with South Sheba. So this is a new crater in this field, but it's about 380,000 years old.
TURRELL: Well, my interest is working with light and space. And you got light and you got space, there's no doubt of that. And it's always something to work with light in the outdoors. That's something that I wanted to do, wanted to shape space, to use the light that was here naturally. Also, I wanted to use the very fine qualities of light. First of all, moonlight. Also, there's a space where you can see your shadow from the light of Venus alone - things like this. And also wanted to gather starlight that was from outside, light that's not only from outside the planetary system which would be from the sun or reflected off of the moon or a planet, but also to emanate light from the galactic planes where you've got this older light that's away from the light even of our galaxy. So that is light that would be at least three and a half billion years old. So you're gathering light that's older than our solar system.
The entire interview transcribed here.
James Turrell
"Roden Crater," Southwest View
Roden Crater Project, Flagstaff, Arizona
Photo by Dick Wiser
Courtesy The Skystone Foundation and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

Here is a video clip of the Roden Crater!!!!
which allegedly won't be open to the public until 2011.

the link to PBS's art:21

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