Doug Aitken: The Sonic Happening (Migration) / 303 Gallery, New York

In October 2008, 303 Gallery in New York presented new works by Doug Aitken in concurrent exhibitions at 303 Gallery’s 22nd street and 21st street spaces. For the inaugural exhibition in 303 Gallery’s 21st street space, Doug Aitken presented “Migration”, the first in a 3-part cycle of installations titled “Empire”.
This video shows (in excerpts) a special viewing of Doug Aitken’s installation “Migration” on October 2, 2008. Doug Aitken invited the musicians Lichens, White Rainbow and Arp to perform live music improvisations to the installation, replacing the film’s original soundtrack.

“Migration” is included in the 55th Carnegie International exhibition “Life on Mars” where the piece is projected on the museum’s façade through January 2009.
More information about the installation and the musicians after the jump.
303 Gallery, 21st Street, New York, October 22, 2008.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

“In “Migration” the movements of wild North American migratory animals are transposed upon the ubiquitous space of modern roadside hotels and motels. As the wild birds and animals inhabit these mysteriously vacant and sterile interiors we’re taken on a haunting odyssey through the contemporary American landscape. With the film alternating between three billboards within the gallery space, the viewer is left to determine his own place in the often desolate and alienating transitory spaces which man inhabits.”

In Lichens, wordless vocals are looped into curtains of drone, adding acoustic and electric guitars, percussion and other effects to create alternately thick and delicate works. Lichens has recorded and released two full-length LPs, “The Psychic Nature of Being” and “Omns”. In addition his work appears in the score of the film “migration”.

Portland-based White Rainbow, has released 7 full length albums since 2000. Creating morphing soundscapes that alternately reference minimalism, eastern prayer musics and trance ritual, White Rainbow weaves a unique web of sound meant to interact directly with its environment. He also provides the score to Aitken’s installation “to give it all away.”

Arp is the most recent project of Alexis Georgopoulos, a San Francisco-based artist, writer and musician brought up in France, Greece and the United States. As Arp, he released 2008’s “In Light”, an album recorded almost entirely live, and meant to serve as a bridge between the natural and electronic worlds.

(excerpts from the press release).

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