Doug Aitken (b. 1968)
Blow Debris (2000)
Electric Earth (1999)
Doug Aitken was born in Redondo Beach, California in 1968 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.
AitkenŐs body of work ranges from photography, sculpture, and architectural interventions to films, sound, single and multichannel video works, and installations. He has described his work as "reflecting a world that is harmonious, mysterious, mesmerizing, passionate, and sometimes rough and violent." His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, in such institutions as the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
Since the mid-1990s, Aitken has created installations by employing multiple screens. In 1997 diamond sea was presented at the Montreal International Festival of Cinema and New Media. And in 1998, Aitken's eraser was revealed at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam. His electric earth installation drew international attention and earned him the International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999. The following year, glass horizon, an installation comprising a projection of a pair of eyes onto the facade of the Vienna Secession building after it had closed for the night, showcased an interest in architectural structures and in art that interacts with urban environments. In 2001, AitkenŐs exhibition at LondonŐs Serpentine Gallery used the entire building for the complex installation new ocean.
In 2005 Aitken received a solo exhibition at the Muse dŐArt Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
In 2006, Aitken produced Broken Screen: 26 Conversations with Doug Aitken (DAP, 2006), a book of interviews with twenty-six artists who aim to explore and challenge the conventions of linear narrative. Interviews included Robert Altman, Claire Denis, Werner Herzog, Rem Koolhaas, and Ed Ruscha.
In the winter of 2007, Aitken's Sleepwalkers was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The project includes the actors Donald Sutherland and Tilda Swinton, musicians Seu Jorge and Cat Power, and actor/street drummer Ryan Donowho. Five interlocking vignettes shown through eight projections were displayed upon the exterior walls of the museum so as to be visible from the street. Concurrent with the exhibition, Aitken also presented a one night "happening" inside the museum that featured live drummers and auctioneers chants and a performance by Cat Power.
In 2008, Aitken produced another large scale outdoor film installation, titled "Migration" for the 55th Carnegie International show titled "Life on Mars" in Pittsburgh, PA. The work features wild animals of North America curiously inhabiting a human realm - neat, empty hotel rooms. He also produced a collection of photographs, "99 Cent Dreams", which captures "moments between interaction" in a kind of nomadic travelogue. Aitken has directed many live "happenings" including his broken screen happening in Los Angeles and 99 cent dreams happening and sonic happening in New York. Most recently, Aitken orchestrated a real-time theatrical happening that assembled auctioneers performing against the rhythms of his Sonic Table, at Il Tempo del Postino, at Theatre Basel.
In October 2009, Aitken's Sonic Pavilion will open to the public. The pavilion is located in the forested hills of Brazil, as part of a new cultural institute and museum. The pavilion will provide a communal space to listen to the sounds of the earth as they are recorded through specialized microphones buried a mile deep into the ground and carried back into the pavilion through a number of speakers. The sound heard inside the pavilion is an amplified live feed of the moving interior of the earth.
Doug Aitken has participated in over 150 art exhibitions throughout the world.