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On location with Tiny Desert Concerts: James Turrell's 'Air Apparent' ASU Skyspace

By Amber Victoria Singer
Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 12:29pm
Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 12:07pm

Air Apparent James Turrell ASU Skyspace
Tim Agne/KJZZ
“Air Apparent,” James Turrell’s Skyspace on the ASU Tempe campus

Nerdcore rapper Mega Ran performed a Tiny Desert Concert inside James Turrell’s ASU Skyspace. Here’s some more information about the perception-bending art installation.

James Turrell’s “Air Apparent” really isn’t apparent at all, and that’s part of the charm.

Tucked behind Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute buildings, semi-hidden by desert trees, you could walk by it all day long. But at night, this public art installation literally glows.

It looks a little like a futuristic bus stop — with a giant hole in the top. A flat, square roof with a square open space in the middle hangs above metal benches protruding from four metal walls.

The real show begins as the sun goes down, when the place lights up. The “floating roof” glows pink, purple, white, blue and yellow as it frames the sky’s own transition from dusk to an inky black.

An internationally celebrated artist, Turrell works “directly with light and space to create artworks that engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception,” according to an introduction on his website. The piece at ASU is part of a larger collection of Turrell Skyspaces, all structures with sky-facing windows.

“James Turrell ASU Skyspace: Air Apparent” is open to the public 24/7, and can be accessed via the bushes next to ASU’s Biodesign Institute Building C.

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