James Turrell and Roden Crater Introduction
James Turrell is one of the world's greatest living
artists. Mention his name within art circles and there is generally
a recognition of his name and his works. Outside of the international
art community, Turrell is only known to a few. This artist of light,
perception and spaces has created some of the world's most interesting
art. Mention the word 'art' and most people think of a painting that
hangs on a wall. Turrell's works are not of this nature and are usually
spaces filled with light in such a way that you question the source
of the light and your perceptions of what you are seeing.
|This web site does not attempt to fully interpret Turrell's works, but presents one year in the struggle by Turrell to create this monumental piece at Roden Crater. I leave it to Turrell, himself, and others in the art community to interpret and explain the many dimensions of the genius and vision of the artist. I have created a page for Turrell-related web sites that provide links to other web sites around the world that focus on the past and present works of Turrell. The first link is to the official Roden Crater web site (recomissioned Dec. 2010) and should be visited to read Turrell's own words as he describes his mission at Roden Crater.||
1978 was a brief, but challenging time in the life of the project. Turrell had been working on the project since 1972 and it has been described as a 'lifetime project' by some. When I was there in 1978, expectations were that the project could be completed in 2-3 years. Major construction finally began in 1999 and continues to this day. No date for completion has been set and the project is not open to the public at this time. (Please do not try to visit the crater, at this time!).
Jim said that the Europeans
were emptying their closets of dusty old Renaissance art and selling
it to the American collectors who were mostly ignoring the great work
being created by their own living and immensely talented American artists.
So, the Europeans have been the primary supporters of American art.
When you see where many of Jim's shows and permanent pieces are located...
Ireland, The Netherlands, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Austria,
his statement rings true. Hardly any Americans know the name of James
Turrell or have heard of the Roden Crater project. Hopefully, this web
site will help to change that so that both Turrell and the Roden Crater
project get the attention and support they deserve.
I left the project with wonderful new inspirations and
memories which still drive me today. If I look back at one moment when
I felt that I had an understanding of what Jim was attempting to create,
it was in a flight to California with Jim piloting accompanied by his
family, my wife and myself.
We left the Flagstaff airport just before sunrise in the
clear desert air. As we reached altitude, we faced the huge full moon
sitting on the horizon directly in front of us. Jim began to make the
plane circle and when we were 180 degrees around, we were facing the
brilliant rising sun as it rested on the other horizon. Jim continued
to circle as the images of the sun and moon continued to appear in a
rotating pattern of bright hotness and cool reflection. After several
revolutions, Jim straightened the plane and never said a word about
it. He didn't have to. I sat there awestruck the rest of the way to
William Earl Cook
Earl Cook has worked in the microcomputer industry since 1980. He is currently the President /CEO of Laser Solutions, Inc., a consulting and software development firm he founded in 1986. As a software developer, Earl has created mission-critical custom software applications for many of the top organizations in the Atlanta, Georgia area. He helped found the Atlanta Desktop Publishers Association and was its first president. Earl and his wife Gail recently released eTouch for Health a holistic energy balancing kinesiology system.
January 7, 2010
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