american light and space artist james turrel‘s most anticipated and significant work — roden crater — is set to open in the next few years thanks to a series of partnerships and new funding. additional funds include a $10 million donation from kanye west that would allow the project to expand and open. the completed work will comprise a series of 21 viewing spaces connected by six tunnels, creating ‘naked eye observatories’ for celestial objects and events. the site is managed by arizona state university, which is working with the artist to raise $200m to complete the project.
roden crater, located in the painted desert region of northern arizona, is an unprecedented large-scale artwork created within a volcanic cinder cone by light and space artist james turrell. in the early 1970s, turrell spent the night in the bowl of the extinct volcano and has since set about buying and turning the crater into a celestial observatory connected to a series of spaces and installations. the artist’s lifelong research in the field of human visual and psychological perception culminate into roden crater, with specially engineered skyspaces where the cycles of geologic and celestial time can be directly experienced. a controlled environment for the contemplation of light. it takes its place within the tradition of american landscape art that began in the 1960s, requiring a journey to visit the work in the remote desert with truly dark night skies.