1.3 (million cubic yards of earth)


A 2002 view of the Crater’s Eye, at the center of the bowl.

Photo from Florian Holzherr in New York Times
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From the Roden Crater website…

“(James) Turrell’s work involves explorations in light and space that speak to viewers without words, impacting the eye, body, and mind to heighten awareness. ‘I want to create an atmosphere that can be consciously plumbed with seeing,’ says the artist, ‘like the wordless thought that comes from looking in a fire’…  Whether harnessing the light at sunset or transforming the glow of a television set into a fluctuating portal, Turrell’s art places viewers in a realm of pure perceptual experience. His fascination with the phenomena of light is ultimately connected to a very personal, inward search for mankind’s place in the universe.

Roden Crater is an extinct volcanic cinder cone, situated at an elevation of approximately 5,400 feet in the San Francisco Volcanic Field near Arizona’s Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon. The roughly 400,000 year old, 600 foot tall red and black cinder cone is being turned into a monumental work of art and naked eye observatory by the artist James Turrell. Working with visual phenomena that have interested man since the dawn of civilization, the Roden Crater project will bring the light of the heavens down to earth, linking visitors with the celestial movements of planets, stars and distant galaxies.

“The first major phase of construction, including the movement of over 1.3 million cubic yards of earth to shape the Crater Bowl and the construction of the 854′ East Tunnel and related spaces, is now complete.”

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