History of Our World

Doug Aitken

Posted in Art, Film, Landscape, Photography by B on October 18, 2010

Blow Debris, 2000. Colour film transferred to 9 channel digital video installation, colour, sound and architectural environment, 21 min. cycle.

Electric Earth, 1999. Colour film transferred to 8 channel laserdisc installation, colour, sound, 9 min. 50 sec. cycle.

Electric Earth, 1999. Colour film transferred to 8 channel laserdisc installation, colour, sound, 9 min. 50 sec. cycle.

Who’s Under The Influence, 1999. Diptych.

Glass Barrier, 2000. C-print mounted on Plexiglas.

Diamond Sea, 1997. Colour film transferred to digital video, 3 channels, 3 projections, 1 monitor, Duratrans backdrop, sound and architectural environment, 10 min. cycle.

Diamond Sea, 1997. Colour film transferred to digital video, 3 channels, 3 projections, 1 monitor, Duratrans backdrop, sound and architectural environment, 10 min. cycle.

2 Second Separation, 2000. C-print mounted on Plexiglas.

Eraser, 1998. Colour film transferred to 7 channel digital video installation, sound and architectural environment, 20 min. cycle.


Amanda Sharp: Director Werner Herzog once explained that his book On Walking in Ice (1979) came about when he found out that a friend of his was dying in Paris. Herzog decided that if he walked from wherever he was – I assume Munich – to Paris, his friend lived: he felt he could keep his friend alive by walking. A work like this is about how individuals can attempt to alter – slow down or speed up – time, how they’re somehow part of a much bigger system.

Doug Aitken: We all encode our experiences of time at different rates. A single moment from several months ago may consume our thoughts, yet a whole summer five years ago may have completely vanished from our memory. We stretch and condense time until it suits our needs. You could say that time does not move in a linear trajectory, and moreover we’re not all following time using the same system.
When I was twenty-one I worked in an editing room for the first time. We were working long hours, day and night, but for me it was a new sensation, fresh and exciting. When finally I could go home to sleep, my dreams were extremely vivid. As I was moving through a dream, I would look down in the lower right hand corner of my dream and see numbers: a time code, like the date-time-minute-frame numbers used in editing raw footage. I was surprised I had never noticed this time code in my dreams before! I also recognized that I no longer needed to watch and witness my dreams passively; I could stop my dream like a freeze frame and look around as if watching a giant, frozen photograph. I could pull back and the dream would rewind so that I could reassemble it in new ways. That night I re-edited my dreams over and over again.
I suppose my working process is very nomadic. I’m not interested in working out of a sterile, traditional, white-cube studio. I’d like to find a methodology that is constantly sight specific, constantly in flux. Some works which are very fictional demand to be built and constructed as if part of a new reality, while others require an intense investigation into a specific landscape. I would like the permanence of my process to be as temporary as possible. I’d like to think of an absence of materialism where at the end of the day, all one needs is a table, a chair, a sheet of paper,possibly less. That would be nice: to be without routine and unnecessary possessions.
Uprooting and removal surrounds us, and at times these can be mirrored in our working process. At times I just let go and am assimilated into my landscapes, other times I feel an active resistance. I think there’s something about growing up in America that makes you feel nothing is ever really stationary. Home can be motion at times*.

*Excerpt from Amanda Sharp in conversation with Doug Aitken.

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Doug Aitken

Daniel Birnbaum : Amanda Sharp : Jörg Heiser

Phaidon

2005

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Doug Aitken

Doug Aitken on UbuWeb

Phaidon

B

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