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, exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1999, which brought him international acclaim and earned 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. In his recent pieces, besides his large scale installations, the artist often works in multiples, such as his mirror objects Now (#2 mirrors) (2011, edition of 4) and More (x4) (2012, edition of 4) or his light boxes like Speed (2012, edition of 4) and End (2014, edition of 4) to express his ideas. A recurring theme that runs through his entire oeuvre is the exploration and deconstruction of the linear narrative which is demonstrated in the book Broken Screen: Expanding the Image, Breaking the Narrative (published 2006) and Sleepwalkers (2007), a nighttime installation at MoMa, comprising 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."

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