Doug Aitken, Installation view at LUMA Foundation, Arles, 2012.
Courtesy of Doug Aitken Workshop and LUMA Foundation
Photography by Hervé Côte

Doug Aitken’s installation
“Altered Earth” at
Luma Foundation

November 5 2012
11:07 PM

This fall, Los Angeles-based artist Doug Aitken presents a large site-specific installation developed for Maja Hoffmann’s Luma Foundation (currently located in Arles, inside the Grande Halle of the Parc des Ateliers in Arles, anciently a XIX site for mechanical engineering and construction of trains and railways). Altered Earth was originally screened in Arles’ main square in the summer of 2011 during the annual Rencontres de la Photographie, and later presented at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Described by the artist as a “kaleidoscopic interpretation of modern landscape”, the installation is composed of twelve large screens that convey a deconstructed labyrinth of moving images, sounds and architecture exploring the perpetual movement of landscape.  This landscape-related narrative is intrinsically linked to the geography­ of Camargue —a picturesque region in the Rhône delta comprising brine lagoons encircled by marshes and salt mines. More unexpectedly, the installation also comes with an iPhone/iPad app, developed by the artist, allowing the viewer to digitally modify his or her relation to the environment of the work through 3D modules, maps of the region, historical references or sound effects, while physically entering the installation. The user can therefore experiment, challenge and recreate the sensorial surroundings of the piece, distancing oneself from its physicality yet getting closer to a surreal, science fictional experience. (Martha Kirszenbaum)