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Doug Wheeler: PSAD Synthetic Desert III

For PSAD Synthetic Desert III (1971), Doug Wheeler has altered the structure and configuration of a museum gallery in order to control optical and acoustic experience. He has transformed the room into a hermetic realm, a “semi-anechoic chamber” designed to minimize noise and induce a sensate impression of infinite space. Wheeler likens this sensation of light and sound to the perception of vast space in the deserts of northern Arizona. While Synthetic Desert is deeply grounded in the artist’s experience of the natural world, the work does not describe the landscape. Its form is strictly abstract.

Because Synthetic Desert is best experienced with as few extraneous sounds and distractions as possible, each visitation group is limited to five people. Timed tickets are required. Reserve tickets in advance. Walk-in tickets are available for select times.

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