Doug Aitken is an artist that adeptly roves the spectrum of varying medium from end to end. He creates unfettered by the trappings of a typical or expected mode of expression. He has digested his distinct perspective through the lens of photography, the voice of sound experiments, the scope of grand-scale installations and the delicacies of narrative film and that is only citing but a few. His matchless innovations dwarf the impossible, synthesizing the was and the will be in the space of the now.
Aitken’s latest public installation and his first ever in the UK, entitled Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken – The Source, is rooted in two questions. What is the source point of a creative idea and how is it realized? The work is a well-woven collection of filmed interviews with individuals from a myriad of creative backgrounds. The Source finds Aitken mulling over the beginnings of the creative spark with the likes of the late artist Mike Kelley, actress, Tilda Swinton, architect, Liz Diller, musicians, Jack White, Lucky Dragons, James Murphy and the photographer, Jack Pierson. The piece is presently on view at Tate Liverpool as part of the 2012 Liverpool Biennial, on the Albert Dock. In collaboration with the architect David Adjaye, Aitken also designed the exhibition area from which The Source will be projected nightly.
Of the work, the artist said, “This project is about the roots of creativity. It’s about using the moving image as a tool to kind of open up a discussion: to share, to create something that’s completely democratized. Many of the people in this project are working in very diverse mediums and it’s that common thread that I’m interested in: finding ways to hear someone talk about the roots of their musical composition or song, and to see how that connects with someone who might be making minimalist art, or film. I think these things are completely linked. There’s a kind of commonality in the creative process, and also in the sharing of ideas. The project is very much about the empowerment not necessarily of the creator, but of the viewer. I want the installation at Tate Liverpool to be a destination: a place that one can go to and walk into this field of ideas.”