Doug Aitken

Biography of Doug Aitken

Currently living and working in New York and Los Angeles, the American multimedia artist Doug Aitken (born 1968 in Redondo Beach, US) is nowadays best known for his complex multimedia installations, such as the multi-screen video installation Electric Earth. The piece was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1999, bringing him international acclaim and earning him the Golden Lion.


In his body of work Doug Aitken utilizes a broad array of artistic media, such as film, sound, photography, sculpture, architectural inventions, print media, and performance in order to create and explore fictitious worlds in which he dissolves the boundaries of space, time and memory concepts. Aside from his large scale installations, the artist often works in multiples. Some examples include his mirrored objects Now (#2 mirrors) and More (x4) or his light boxes like Speed and End. A recurring theme that runs through his entire oeuvre is the exploration and deconstruction of the linear narrative, demonstrated in the book Broken Screen: Expanding the Image, Breaking the Narrative and Sleepwalkers, a nighttime installation exhibited at MoMa in 2007, comprising of eight large scale moving images projected onto the museum’s exterior walls, showing broken narratives of the nightlife of five New Yorkers.


Doug Aitken follows a method of working that is characterized by an experimental, constantly changing and site-specific working process. He states in conversation with Amanda Sharp: “I am constantly piecing things together, finding fragments of information, splicing them, collaging them, montaging them to create a network of perceptions. I’m not interested in creating projects that illustrate and define; I would rather make departure points, stimuli for questions, provocation.”


Doug Aitken has seen his work exhibited in many of the world’s most prestigious art institutions, namely the Whitney Museum of American Art, The MoMA, the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Additionally the artist’s works can be found in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. 

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