Incredible Lightness

Incredible Lightness

When Cooper Union rejected him for grad school, Turrell enrolled at the University of California, Irvine, where he began experimenting with light projections. His education was interrupted in 1966, however, when he was arrested in an FBI sting for advising potential draftees on how to avoid the Vietnam War. Turrell served a brief prison sentence. He doesn’t miss being incarcerated—”I wasn’t Gandhi”—but he’s nostalgic for other aspects of the era, including the interfaith coalition of the antiwar movement: “Radical Catholics poured blood on the [draft files]. Then the Quakers said, ‘We’ll clog up your jails.’ It was wonderful Jewish lawyers who got the Quakers out of jail.”

 

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