The best video about the Roden Crater is this one vimeo.com/67926427
which cannot be embedded, but this clip describes an aspect of his vision.
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.
Pretty cool, huh?
Turrell states that 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."
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. In addition to exploring the interplay of light and space in his art, Turrell has looked closely at the design of ancient observatories as places for visual perception:
" I admire Borobudur, Angkor Wat, Pagan, Machu Picchu, the Mayan pyramids, the Egyptian pyramids, Herodium, Old Sarum, Newgrange and the Maes Howe. These places and structures have certainly influenced my thinking. These thoughts will find concurrence in Roden Crater."
You can see images of these sites Turrell mentions in the LACMA vimeo above.