doug aitken reflects on isolation + connectivity in a video journey across changing landscapes
 

doug aitken reflects on isolation + connectivity in a video journey across changing landscapes

doug aitken is taking designboom on a visual road trip through his creative process in an exclusive, ongoing video series, shared during the unpredictable times that COVID-19 has provoked. each of the short films has been shot in a different location, and documents the artist’s diverse work — from a nomadic art installation that travelled across massachusetts by air, to a permanent architecture and sound installation situated in the brazilian rainforest. aitken’s visual sojourn forms intimate reflections on modern culture, and invites viewers on a creative odyssey across landscape, artistic expression and societal currents — from wherever in the world they are experiencing this unprecedented moment in time. in part I of the film series, featured across our site and on instagram, aitken presents an encounter with ‘new horizon’ — a mirrored hot air balloon that transforms into a kinetic light sculpture in the darkness.

 

aitken continues in part II by exploring the juxtaposition of the physical landscape with our ever-changing technological world — capturing intimate interpretations of the installation, ‘don’t forget to breathe’. 

 

 

 

 

tucked into a 1960s abandoned strip mall in los angeles, california, ‘don’t forget to breathe’ investigates a landscape of transformation, and the shift of the material to the immaterial. the empty shell of the storefront echoes the larger retail apocalypse of shuttered shops, and the notion that we are entering an increasingly dematerialized era where human connection is replaced by digital life. three isolated figures glow within the haunting atmosphere of the desolate storefront, crystallized in translucent glass and frozen as if time has stopped. changing hues of light rhythmically pulse within the sculptures’ empty core, both connecting and alienating them from one another. their hands clutch a void where a phone would be, seemingly caught in the midst of making a call. as light and color synchronize through the bodies, they create a continuously changing contradiction between isolation and connectivity.

 

‘the idea that an artwork can be a system, an architecture of ideas, a system of ideas — if you’re very, very lucky, once in a while, the systems start moving, and moving autonomously,’ aitken shares. see part II of the video journey spotlighting ‘don’t forget to breathe’ above, and stay tuned as designboom continues the series across our site, and on instagram

doug aitken reflects on isolation + connectivity in a video journey across changing landscapes
3 modern figures (don’t forget to breathe), 2018 (also main image)
cast frosted resin, programmed LEDs and composition, audio speakers and components
installation view at galerie eva presenhuber, zurich, switzerland
image courtesy of the artist; 303 gallery, new york; galerie eva presenhuber, zurich; victoria miro gallery, london; and regen projects, los angeles / photo by stefan altenburger

doug aitken
3 modern figures (don’t forget to breathe), 2018
cast frosted resin, programmed LEDs and composition, audio speakers and components
installation view at galerie eva presenhuber, zurich, switzerland
image courtesy of the artist; 303 gallery, new york; galerie eva presenhuber, zurich; victoria miro gallery, london; and regen projects, los angeles / photo by stefan altenburger

doug aitken
3 modern figures (don’t forget to breathe), 2018
installation view at faurschou foundation, beijing, china
image courtesy of the artist; 303 gallery, new york; galerie eva presenhuber, zurich; victoria miro gallery, london; and regen projects, los angeles

doug aitken
3 modern figures (don’t forget to breathe), 2018
installation view at faurschou foundation, beijing, china
image courtesy of the artist; 303 gallery, new york; galerie eva presenhuber, zurich; victoria miro gallery, london; and regen projects, los angeles

doug aitken
3 modern figures (don’t forget to breathe) at 6775 santa monica boulevard, los angeles, CA
photo by dakota higgins

doug aitken reflects on isolation + connectivity in a video journey across changing landscapes
3 modern figures (don’t forget to breathe) at 6775 santa monica boulevard, los angeles, CA

doug aitken reflects on isolation + connectivity in a video journey across changing landscapes
3 modern figures (don’t forget to breathe) at 6775 santa monica boulevard, los angeles, CA

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