Since his first exhibit in 1991 Doug Aitken, the conceptual artist from Los Angeles, has challenged conventional notions of what art can be. He is known for his innovative use of various mediums in order to create work that discusses how human memories and time fuse together with the world around us.

Image: News Design List

Previous projects have utilized photography, film, sculptural elements and large-scale architectural creations in order to discuss the relationships between distinctive aspects of our lives. Well known exhibits include ‘Sleepwalkers’ which he presented at MoMA in New York City, ‘migration’, ‘Text Sculpture’ and in 1999 Aitken was given the International Prize at the Venice Biennale for his installation ‘electric earth’.

2007 Sleepwalkers Trailer from Doug Aitken Workshop on Vimeo.

2008 migration 303 Walkthrough from Doug Aitken Workshop on Vimeo.


Image: Whitney Art Museum

His latest, ‘MIRROR’ is a permanent installation at the Seattle Art Museum in Washington State and was revealed on 24 March with a live performance by the composers Steve Reich and Terry Riley. For the museum he has created a horizontal LED display that will project footage Aitken shot himself from various locations within Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest on the front of the museum’s exterior. While describing the project to The Stranger Aitken explained, ‘We needed to create an invisible system that could relate to and mirror what’s happening around it, like a living composition…I think we’re coming into this very interesting era where the divisions between different sectors of culture aren’t so strict.’ The building is able to sense its environment and the images and light display change with the movement of pedestrians, light, wind and other environment elements. Just like the urban landscape that surrounds it, the installation with transform with the progression of time and human activity.


Images: Whitney Museum of American Art,, Mirror Seattle, News Design List
Words: Emma Remington