Sky High

Yoko Ono's "Sky TV" installation, circa 1966.

I’m running with a theme here. As a post-script to my recent post on the “History of the Sky” project, I wanted to mention two more airy series of artworks: Yoko Ono‘s “Sky TV,” from 1966 and James Turrell‘s incredible “Skyspace” installations. Ono’s clever video piece was shown on a television inside a gallery, which received a live video feed from a camera perched outside and focussed on the sky above. Turrell’s spaces, which can often accommodate a dozen people inside, are built to frame portals of the sky, which let light into the space. See the video below to get a sense of that experience. (Ono appears in Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, by the way.)

As Turell said in an interview, “I guess I like the literal quality, or feeling, or sensation, in that I want to feel light physically. We drink it as vitamin D; it’s actually a food. We are heliotropic, and it has a big effect on the skin, produces vitamin D. We also have a big psychological relation to light. All or most spiritual experiences, near death experiences, are described with a vocabulary of light. So, for me, this quality to feel light exists, almost like we see it in a dream…”