subscribe
free e-newsletter free e-newsletter
product info
advertise
FAQ
SUBSCRIBE TODAY
for premium web access
comment

News:

Mirror Mirror

Doug Aitken unveils a responsive installation for the Seattle Art Museum’s facade that reflects its context.

By Joann Gonchar
March 25, 2013

Photo © Nancy Gonchar
View attitional images on the project's website: Doug Aitken: Mirror
----- Advertising -----

The goal for Mirror—a new permanent installation on the facade of the Seattle Art Museum—was to create a “living system” that constantly changes in response to its surroundings, says its creator, artist Doug Aitken. The piece, inaugurated last night just after sundown with a Seattle Symphony performance of Terry Riley’s minimalist masterpiece In C, wraps around a corner of the museum’s 2007 expansion designed by Allied Works Architecture.

The video and light work consists of a horizontal band of LED tiles and column-like LED strips that stretch 120 feet up the stainless steel and glass facade. But rather than competing with the building, Mirror “extends the experience of the architecture,” says Brad Cloepfil, founding principal of Allied Works. “It brings in a narrative of sorts,” he says.

Aitken’s narrative relies on hundreds of hours of footage that the artist filmed at various locations in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, capturing both natural and manmade environments, such as the snow-covered Cascade Mountains, the city’s skyscrapers, and workers assembling jets on the floor of a Boeing factory. The imagery moves across the building’s facade both horizontally and vertically, creating kaleidoscopic patterns that combine and overlap. Sensors placed just outside the museum capture real-time conditions—including automobile traffic, pedestrian movement, and weather—and then a computer algorithm adjusts the sequence and rhythm of the vignettes according to changes in the museum's surrondings.

The artist refers to the installation, his third on or in an Allied Works project, (a loft in New York City and a house in Dutchess County also have Aitken pieces), as “liquid architecture." The dynamic data, he says, make Mirror “specific to Seattle and this place.”

Keywords:

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.
----- Advertising -----
----- Advertising -----
McGraw-Hill Construction

Search Sweets

Example: Building Products, CAD, BIM, Catalogs
Search
Reader Feedback
Most Commented Most Recommended
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days