"First, I am dealing with no object. Perception is the object. Secondly, I am dealing with no image, because I want to avoid associative, symbolic thought. Thirdly, I am dealing with no focus or particular place to look. With no object, no image and no focus, what are you looking at? You are looking at you looking." James Turrell

James Turrell studied optics and perceptual psychology in college, but he gravitated towards art as his curiosity led him to investigate light itself. His thinking and work are compelling to scientists, artists, and laypeople because his understanding of light comes from a personal process of investigation, resulting in works of astounding beauty.

In this Webcast of a lecture on September 16, 2003, sponsored by the Sonoma County Museum, Turrell discusses his experiences manipulating pure light and how it became his artistic medium. He reveals how this early work led him to discover Roden Crater in Arizona and to create his subsequent lifelong project of transforming the crater into an astronomical observatory.

(The lecture was originally delivered to a live audience at Sonoma State University in Sonoma, California.)


(Get RealPlayer)


About James Turrell's Raemar
Visit James Turrell's Roden Crater Web site
Read an Article: "The Cosmic Art of James Turrell"
Explore Pinhole Investigations Investigations of Light
Find out about how artist Bob Miller's explores light in his Light Walk
Investigate related Exploratorium activities about light from our Science Snacks
Try making your own Pictures from Light (From Science Explorer, one of our hands-on books of activities for kids)


© Exploratorium