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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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James Turrell: you who look

8 minutes

James Turrell’s singular quest to transform a crater into a natural-light observatory

‘Every evening we unfold the light, and every morning, fold it back, to return the blue to the sky.’

The US artist James Turrell has made a career of manipulating light and space, creating ‘new worlds’ that force viewers to confront the fluidity and fallibility of their own visual perception. Born into a conservative Quaker family, Turrell got his start building meeting houses – quiet, simple structures where Quakers are meant to ‘greet the light’. James Turrell: You Who Look is a visual and verbal paean to the artist’s celebrated career, with an emphasis on Roden Crater near Flagstaff in Arizona, a ‘place between the Earth and the cosmos’, a ‘natural-light observatory’ built into an extinct volcano – a work that has been 45 years in the making and is still unfinished.

Director: Jessica Yu

Producer: Izabela Frank


Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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