We All Shine On: Yoko’s Tower of Geothermal Peace Power

It might seem like every time you turn around, Yoko Ono is saying, “Hey, remember that seminal musician I was married to who was brutally murdered?” But her latest project, even though it hovers within the same territory, is giving me a serious case of the warm fuzzies. The Imagine Peace Tower is a beam of light that will shine in Reykjavik, Iceland from October 9th of each year (John Lennon’s birthday) until December 8th (the day he was shot), as well as on New Year’s Eve, at the beginning of spring, and other special occasions. Dependant on the changing atmospheric conditions of Iceland, the brightness of the beam and the glow around it will always be in flux.

Yoko chose Iceland "because it is a very eco-friendly country" which relies on geothermal energy. The peace tower is powered entirely by the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant.

The base of the tower is a wishing well, with “Imagine Peace” engraved on it in 24 languages. Buried in the earth in capsules surrounding the tower will be more than 495,000 wishes for peace that Ono has been collecting at her galleries since 1981 and more recently via her website. Ono wants each capsule to be topped by a tree. "Eventually it will be like a forest," she said.

The tower is based on a concept Ono publicized to her supporters more than 40 years ago. Even in 1965, “LIGHT HOUSE” sounded like it might be non-intrusive on the environment: “A house constructed of light from prisms, which exists in accordance with the changes of the day.” On one of their first meetings, Lennon asked Ono to build him that tower. She laughed it off as an eventuality, not something that was possible at the time.

Now that the man who said “imagine all the people living life in peace” would have been 67, wouldn’t it be nice if this belief was more universally seen as wise rather than young and radical? Bravo, Ono. There’s more Lennon-tailored symbolism to this tower you can read about on, but I’m glad her basic concept is so accessible to reach the maximum amount of people.


Amazing! She really has done so much for the world with art. I can't really blame her for prefacing everything with 'member when I was married to JL' because people don't tend to pay attention to her otherwise.