Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
June 18, 2012
Our amazing world. Wild concepts once only hallucinated by 1960s hippies (and promptly forgotten) can now be realized through technology — fixed on a convenient landscape for the enlightenment of all.
Enter Twilight Epiphany Skyspace, a multi-million-dollar grassy pyramid on the campus of Rice University in Houston, Texas. It was engineered by computer and topped with a glowing, open ceiling made of material that didn’t even exist during the Summer of Love.
Twilight Epiphany Skyspace is the creation of James Turrell, a mysterious old hippie who’s been building a single artwork in a remote Arizona crater since 1972 (He’s described by the Rice University public art program director as “very evolved”). Coaxed out of the desert with a $5 million commission, Turrell built Skyspace as a free “performance” attraction. For 40 minutes, at dawn and sunset, hidden lights set the ceiling aglow in cycling colors of pink, purple, blue, green, white, yellow, orange. Engineered for resonance and acoustics, Skyspace can augment its consciousness expansion with everything from a string quartet to electronic noodling (Just like a good laser light show).
The glow show can be watched from anywhere in the pyramid’s neighborhood, but for the truly mind-blowing, pseudo-acid experience you have to call ahead to reserve one of the few (but still free) seats inside the pyramid, directly beneath the ceiling. Through the miracle of contrasting colors, Skyspace transforms its little rooftop window of sky and cloud into hues not normally seen on this planet. Far freakin’ out.
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Twilight Epiphany Skyspace
- Loop Rd, Houston, TX
- Enter Rice University campus at either Entrance 18 (corner of Rice Blvd and Stadium Rd) or Entrance 8 (corner of University Blvd and Loop Rd). Skyscape occupies the lawn behind Alice Pratt Brown Hall at the Shepherd School of Music. Park in either the underground garage at McNair Hall or the visitor lots west of Alice Pratt Brown Hall.
- 40-minute light shows at sunrise and sunset; closed Tu. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
- Reservations required for sunset shows only.
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