Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #738 - Roden Explorers - new newsletter - subscribe
Here's some show and tell.
Here's a cool newsletter I learned about.
Fell behind. Catching up.
So just this.
FROM - https://craigmod.com/sputnik/invitation/
An invitation —
through the Japanese night. I was in a van with two Americans, a Japanese, an older —
supposedly famous — French illustrator, a Belgian artist, a Swedish photographer,
and another Frenchman, drunk — quite obviously so — and driving.
met, the consensus quickly shifted. The drunk
Frenchman — against his vocal pleading that
He was fine! He can drive just fine! — would be
replaced as driver. I was the only other passenger
with an international license.
night — my first time driving such a large vehicle,
and also my first time driving in Japan. We hurtled
down freeways swaddled in countryside darkness,
past rice fields, music blaring, joyful,
multi-accented English bouncing all over the
interior, the Frenchman snoring in a heap in
Sea of Japan on the northern coast. James Turrell
had a room there.
Everyone spoke well of his work. I was excited.
many of his rooms — a tomb with a rectangular
hole cut in the center of the ceiling. One of his 'Skyspaces.'
I watched the sky darken. I felt the freezing air
pour in through the open roof. I pulled my scarf up around my face. Then I left.
again. The hole framed a crisp, deep blue Japanese
winter sky. Suddenly a cloud floated past. Then
some birds flew over.
forming the hole in the roof was tapered to almost nothing. This tapering produced the
optical illusion — as you continued to stare —
that the sky was pulled down to the very ceiling of
the room. Standing on your tippy toes you could
almost believe you could touch it. And when
something moved past, it felt compressed and
work. I’ve spent the night in his house in Niigata2
— a stunning collaboration with Japanese architect
Daigo Ishii3 in which you sleep in a twelve mat
tatatmi room. At the touch of a button, the roof
slides off the house and a sky viewing timed
perfectly to sunrise and sunset begins. You lie there,
dazed, witness to the majesty of a darkness (as
the sun sets) and color gradation (as the sun rises)
you’ve never before seen.
pilgrimage to James’ installations in the Tadao
Ando designed, Chichu Art Museum.4 And I’ve
hunted down small collections of his less
consuming light installations at various museums
and galleries around the world.
James’ work that I discovered his Roden project.5
Roden is the name of a crater in Arizona James
bought in the '70s. It’s become an icon not just for
his Life Work but for the ideal to which — I
believe — many of us strive as creators. It is a
myth — far larger than life in both ideological
scope and physicality.
At Roden Crater I was interested in taking the cultural artifice of art out into the natural surround. I did not want the work to be a mark upon nature, but I wanted the work to be enfolded in nature in such a way that light from the sun, moon and stars empowered the spaces … I wanted an area where you had a sense of standing on the planet. I wanted an area of exposed geology like the Grand Canyon or the Painted Desert, where you could feel geologic time. Then in this stage set of geologic time, I wanted to make spaces that engaged celestial events in light so that the spaces performed a “music of the spheres” in light. The sequence of spaces, leading up to the final large space at the top of the crater, magnifies events. The work I do intensifies the experience of light by isolating it and occluding light from events not looked at. I have selected different portions of the sky and a limited number of events for each of the spaces. This is a reason for the large number of spaces.
Then in this stage set of geologic time …
mailing list: The Roden Explorers Club.
A little more ephemeral, perhaps. Like a crater in
the desert: there if you look on Google Maps, but
usually out of sight.
projects built with a pinch of James’ ethos in mind.
Somewhere to ask folks for feedback. Somewhere
to share off-the-cuff thinking about the future of
books and publishing. A place for you to hit 'reply'
outside of the public spectacle of comments
joining me and becoming an Explorer. The
messages will be infrequent, and you can
unsubscribe at anytime.
- Kanazawa, 21st Century Museum ↩︎
- House of Light (光の館), Niigata, Japan ↩︎
- Future Scape — Daigo Ishii, Architects ↩︎
- Chichu Art Museum ↩︎
- Roden Crater ↩︎
between Japan and New York. He is a MacDowell
Colony and VCCA writing fellow. His essays and
articles have appeared in The Atlantic, California Sunday Magzine, Backchannel, Aeon, New Scientist, Virgina
Quarterly Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times,
The Morning News, Codex: Journal of Typography, and elsewhere.
Reflect and connect.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
I miss you so very much, Mom.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 740 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1707.14 - 10:10
NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.