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The placement of James Turrell's new Skyspace: Air Apparent on the ASU Tempe campus near “three of the most sophisticated science facilities on Earth” was not an accident. Faculty and research staff in Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB4) is renowned for designing instruments to enable scientific exploration of other worlds. In addition to complex labs, ISTB4 provides public outreach spaces on the first and second floor that invite visitors into the scientific and engineering challenges that invigorate studies of Earth and the universe.
As with all Turrell's investigations into light and perception, his ASU Skyspace is unique in its architectural manifestation, rootedness to place, and nuance of materiality, detail and character. It is intended to balance the poetry of his ideas with the pragmatic concerns of climate, comfort, 24/7 public access, personal safety, universal accessibility, and budget responsiveness. Working with Turrell to complement the perceptual experience of the phenomenon of light, this Skyspace strives to be a minimalist background to the art and the idea.