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Aitken, Douglocked

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1968, in Redondo Beach (California).

Installation artist, photographer, film maker. Multimedia.

Doug Aitken is a graduate of the Pasadena Art Center College of Design. He started as art director for Fatboy Slim, Iggy Pop and Barenaked Ladies' video clips. He operates from New York and Los Angeles. His installation Electric Earth, in which a dancer wanders in a shadowy city, won the International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and thrust him onto the international scene. His three-dimensional video installations with multiple screens generally address the links between modern man and his environment, landscapes and townscapes. He dissects scenes, edits the film backwards, proposes 'photographic tableaux', akin to collages of a surreally disjointed world. The texture of both his image and sound is highly sophisticated. Equally acclaimed, New Ocean (2001), imagines the topography of a perpetually changing water world. He is also the author of I Am a Bullet: Scenes from an Accelerating Culture with Dean Kuipers (Crown Publishers, New York, 2000) and Notes for New Religions, Notes for No Religions (Hatje Cantz Verlag & Kunst Museum, Wolfsburg, 2001).

Group Exhibitions

1994, Out West and Back East, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica

1997, 2000, Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

1999, Venice Biennale

2000, Hypermental Rampant Reality 1950-2000 from Salvador Dali to Jeff Koons, Kunsthaus Zurich,

2002, Sonic Process, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris (also presented at MACBA, Barcelona)

2002, Remix: Contemporary Art and Pop, Tate Liverpool

2004, Past, Present, Future: Contemporary Art 1950-Present, Art Institute, Chicago

Solo Exhibitions

1993, AC Project Room, New York

2000, Concentrations 33: Doug Aitken, Diamond Sea, Dallas Museum of Art

2000, Glass Horizon, Secession, Vienna

2001, New Ocean, Serpentine Gallery, London

2002, Rise, Magasin, Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble

2005, Ultraworld, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

2006, Doug Aitken: A Photographic Survey, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen

2007, Doug Aitken: Sleepwalkers, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Auction Records

New York, 18 May 2001: Mirror No.2 (1998, colour photo/Plexiglas, 20 × 25 ins/51 × 63 cm) USD 10,000

New York, 14 Nov 2002: Passenger (1999, cibachrome print/Plexiglas, 39 × 49 ins/99 × 124 cm) USD 22,000

New York, 13 Nov 2003: Two Second Separation (photo/Plexiglas, two parts, edition 3 of 5, 19 × 93 ins/48 × 237 cm) USD 37,500

New York, 13 May 2004: Electric Earth (1999, plastic laser disc encoded audio, sculpture) USD 95,000

London, 25 June 2004: Over the Ocean (c-print/Plexiglas, 66 × 48 ins/167 × 122 cm) GBP 8,000


  • Birnbaum, Daniel/Sharp, Amanda/Heiser, Jorg: ‘Doug Aitken’ in Contemporary Artists Series, Phaidon, London, 2001.
  • Aitken, Doug/Heiser, Jorg/Bonami, Francesco: Doug Aitken. Notes for New Religion, Hatje Cantz, 2001.
  • Kihm, Christophe: ‘Les Gestes de Doug Aitken’ in Art Press n° 282 p. 46, periodical, Paris, September 2002.
  • Daniel, Noel (ed.): Broken screen: 26 Conversations with Doug Aitken; Expanding the Image Breaking the Narrative, Distributed Art Publishers, New York, 2006.
  • Doug Aitken: Sleepwalkers, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007.