Artist uses a volcano as a medium

Credit: James Turrell

Artists have used various media throughout history to display their art. The page, the canvas and the screen all come to mind. The volcano, not so much. But that’s changing.

For thirty years, James Turrell has been excavating a 389,000-year-old extinct volcano in the Painted Desert in Arizona. As you do. Turrell, a 70-year-old Californian artist, is turning the volcano into a naked-eye observatory unlike any we’ve ever seen before.

The interior of the 600-foot tall volcano has been engineered into naturally lit viewing rooms that are created for viewing specific celestial events. The project, which is now known as the Roden Crater, will include twenty different rooms upon its completion.

The purpose, according to Turrell, is to see the world in a different light. Literally. By using the natural structure of the volcano, he will explore light itself, the way it reaches the earth and the way we perceive it. That might sound a little vague, but a look at the video below will make this abstract concept a little more concrete.

The completion date of the Roden Crater has been pushed back many times during the past thirty years, but when it is finally finished, the world will have a new wonder to behold.

Roden Crater, Via Wired

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