Seattle Art Museum Commissions Permanent Work by Doug Aitken


For his first permanent museum commission, L.A.- and New York-based artist Doug Aitken will create a work for the facade of the Seattle Art Museum.

Mirror will consist of a monumental LED display, wrapped around the northwest corner of the museum’s building, according to a press release. Its principal feature will be a glass-covered horizontal band of projected images. These will dissolve into columns of light and travel up the building’s face. The video images will come from an archive of footage of the Pacific Northwest and will change in sequences dictated by a computer program, such that the imagery will respond to changes in weather, light and traffic patterns.

To be installed next year, the work was commissioned by Bagley Wright, who, besides being a prominent Seattle arts patron and collector, was one of the original investors in the Space Needle. Wright died last year.

It’s not the first time Aitken has created work for a museum’s exterior. His video installation Sleepwalkers (2007) turned an exterior wall at New York’s Museum of Modern Art into a projection screen for a series of short films featuring actors and musicians like Tilda Swinton and Cat Power.