stellar skyspaces in the arizona desert — highly recommend a visit! m.
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. the artist’s lifelong research in the field of human visual and psychological perception, culminated into roden crater, with special engineered spaces 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.
in the sixteenth century, the great astronomer tycho brahe pioneered ‘naked eye observatories,’ of which the eighteenth-century jantar mantar in jaipur is perhaps the best example. turrell studied and adapted essential features of the naked-eye observatory in his designs for roden crater, where the natural formation recalled these man-made precedents.