California is the state where artist and filmmaker, Doug Aitken, is currently situated, where he was born and also where he chose to put one of his most stunning works to date. Aitken has constructed an entirely mirrored house in the cinematic scenes of the Southern Californian desert. The ‘Mirage’ house is part of Desert X, an installation of 16 site specific art pieces located in the arid Coachella valley.

doug aitken

‘Mirage’ By Doug Aitken | Photography By Lance Gerber and Dakota Higgins

doug aitken

‘Mirage’ By Doug Aitken | Photography By Lance Gerber and Dakota Higgins

Doug Aitken defies specialisation. Exploring mediums from film to sculpture, and architectural interventions. He has exhibited everywhere from the MoMA to the Serpentine Gallery in London and has never skimped on scale; projecting on New York sky scrapers and creating a Sonic Pavilion in Brazil. The latter mentioned work involved a 5-year process of research, development and construction; the result of which was a 202 meter deep tube that collected sounds from the earth.

doug aitken

‘Mirage’ By Doug Aitken | Photography By Lance Gerber and Dakota Higgins

His works explore the way people experience memory and narrative, as well as relating to the quickening urban environment. A factor making the sensory aspect and mindfulness of art an increasing aid, allowing people a rare moment to solely take in their surroundings.

doug aitken

‘Mirage’ By Doug Aitken | Photography By Lance Gerber and Dakota Higgins

While not his first reflective piece, having worked previously with mirrored typography, ‘Mirage’ could be considered the most impactful. Taking in the city-scape, it creates a transformative kaleidoscope of its surroundings. During the day, fracturing peaceful skies; in the evening coming alive with the glittering of synthetic city lights.

doug aitken

‘Mirage’ By Doug Aitken | Photography By Lance Gerber and Dakota Higgins

In the form of a traditional American ranch-style homea, all but the floors have been cast in mirrors. The architecture style was founded in the West by Frank Lloyd Wright, and suburbanised in the 20/30s and became a popular post-WWII home. As a streamlined housing form, it could be efficiently reproduced on an assembly line to meet demand. Now a style commercialised across America, it poses as a familiar shape, allowed to disappear into the vast, natural landscape.

Desert X runs from 25 February 2017 to 30 April 2017, although Aitken’s Mirage will remain in place until 31 October 2017.

Desert X. 2017. Desertx. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.desertx.org/about-us/. [Accessed 29 April 2017].

Doug Aitken. 2016. Doug Aitken Bio. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dougaitkenworkshop.com/bio/. [Accessed 29 April 2017].

DESERT BIENNIAL. 2017. Doug Aitken Desert X. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.desertx.org/doug-aitken. [Accessed 29 April 2017].

INHOTIM. 2017. Doug Aitken, Sonic Pavillion. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.inhotim.org.br/en/inhotim/arte-contemporanea/obras/sonic-pavilion/. [Accessed 29 April 2017]