No.4 / Top 10 lighting experiences: The Lightning Field, New Mexico, USA

April 06 2011 — by Jonathan Speirs
High in the remote upper plains of New Mexico, the artist Walter de Maria with the support of the Dia Art Foundation created a permanent experiential art installation. Covering an area of exactly 1 km x 1 mile the artist has installed 400 stainless steel poles with pointed tips. They are just over 22 feet in height and two inches in diameter and laid out at 220 feet intervals. It is a sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed. They are all exactly the same height at their tips, in the sense that you could place a horizontal tabletop over the area and each tip would support it. The idea was that these poles would attract lightning strikes during the period of year when electrical storms are prevalent. The website states it is not a guaranteed event, in fact that they only receive an average of three lightning strikes each month.
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No.5 / Top 10 lighting experiences: The Aurora Borealis

April 06 2011 — by Jonathan Speirs
Many years ago I worked on a hotel project in Alta in the very north of Norway 10 degrees above the Arctic Circle and was able to witness not just the midnight sun but also its alter ego, the midday night.
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No.6 / Top 10 lighting experiences: The Roden Crater, Arizona

April 06 2011 — by Jonathan Speirs
Turning into James Turrell’s life work, the Roden Crater is located a few miles from Flagstaff in Arizona; it's best to Google Earth it to appreciate its size and location. It is a 400,000-year-old, three-mile-diameter crater. Turrell has been sculpting the inner core of the crater into a massive naked-eye observatory. He is focussing on viewing sky-light, solar and celestial aspects of our skies.
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No.7 / Top 10 lighting experiences: The Chinati Foundation, Texas

April 06 2011 — by Jonathan Speirs
Set up by the artist Donald Judd (1928–1994) as a repository for site-specific and permanent art, the Chinati Foundation was a reaction to his pieces being sold and relocated to venues and displayed in manners he was not happy with.
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No.8 / Top 10 lighting experiences: The Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp

April 06 2011 — by Jonathan Speirs
One of the Le Corbusier masterpieces, the chapel is located in the east of France on the crown of a hill that has fantastic views across the landscape. Studying this building at architecture school is as with most great buildings - a waste of time unless you visit it. My first visit was in February 1988. It was a cold but sunny day and I was fortunate to be the only person there. I slowly walked around the building three times before I felt ready to advance inside. As I reached the front door I saw a big sign in English, “NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED”. There I was clutching my SLR and instantly had a downer!
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