doug aitken's large-scale sound artwork is activated by the sonoma landscape

doug aitken's large-scale sound artwork is activated by the sonoma landscape

within the eucalyptus grove at the donum estate — the sonoma, california-based pinot noir producer home to a monumental sculpture collection — artist doug aitken presents a site-specific artwork, ‘sonic mountain (sonoma)’. ‘I wanted to create a living artwork, a piece that would change continuously and be performed by the natural environment,‘ said aitken of his interactive installation, which is activated by the surrounding landscape. mimicking a wind chime monumental in scale, ‘sonic mountain (sonoma)’ generates unique patterns of sound as as wind passes through it, responding to changes in the environment that encompasses it. to inaugurate the installation, multimedia artist hisham akira bharoocha has created ’20 percussionists for sonic mountain’, a musical composition using the sculpture as its only sound source.

all images courtesy of doug aitken



as an interactive artwork that responds to its surroundings, aitken’s ‘sonic mountain (sonoma)’ seeks to investigate the fluidity of time by creating a continuously evolving experience that changes according to nature. ‘it is a privilege to work with artists like doug, who responded to donum’s landscape in every detail and created an experience that draws our attention to the elements of the environment that animate both wine and art,’ explain allan and mei warburg, owners of the donum estate. ‘I know we will spend many a day listening to the hypnotic soundtrack doug has composed in collaboration with nature.’


now including ‘sonic mountain (sonoma)’, donum’s sculpture collection forms an open-air encounter with global art — including pieces by ai weiwei, yayoi kusama, elmgreen & dragset, and jaume plensa. all works are united in their careful integration into the landscape of rolling vineyards, which offers breathtaking views of the sonoma mountains.



aitken’s wide-ranging practice extends from filmmaking to installation and architecture. his ‘underwater pavilions’ are series of subaquatic sculptures temporarily installed off catalina island in california in which swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers can explore. most recently, the artist traveled across massachusetts in a mirrored hot air balloon, and organized a program public happenings as part of his ‘new horizon’ project. see more by aitken on designboom, here.



project info: 


artist: doug aitken

title: sonic mountain (sonoma)

commissioned by: the donum estate

location: sonoma, california

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