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LUMA Foundation announces Doug Aitken ALTERED EARTH. Arles, city of moving images

LUMA Foundation presents Doug Aitken ALTERED EARTH. Arles, city of moving images, on view 20 October–20 November 2012.

Altered Earth, Doug Aitken Workshop, Arles 2012

ALTERED EARTH is a 21st-century Earthwork. This multimedia work is described by Doug Aitken as “a series of moments and fragments of time focusing on the geography of the Camargue, which provides an almost holographic view of the physical landscape.” The work exists through moving images, sound and architecture, exploring the ever-changing landscape. It is a work of Land Art for the electronic era. The installation ALTERED EARTH creates a form of liquid architecture out of large-scale moving images where the viewer explores a labyrinth of synchronized moving images, which explore new definitions of time and place.

The artwork is conceived as a truly connected multimedia experience. As the work produces its own architecture, and, by extension, its own landscape, Doug Aitken has also developed a form for ALTERED EARTH, through which the work might “reconfigure itself architecturally and its content can continuously shift.”

It was this thinking that led to the conception of the digital application ALTERED EARTH, as a means by which the spectator can interact with this landscape and “have a new dialogue with it, each time they encounter it.” The application can be downloaded for free at

ALTERED EARTH will be projected as a freestanding installation in the Grande Halle of the Parc des Ateliers in Arles, France. The installation will consist of 12 screens measuring 8.5 by 4.78 meters, suspended 60cm from the ground. Through this medium of multi-screen video, ALTERED EARTH immerses the visitor in a world of moving images, offering a unique experience of strolling through a new form of landscape.

The exhibition will open with a performance by Californian composer Terry Riley and special guests Gyan Riley and Tracy Silverman. For this one-off, live performance, Terry Riley has created an original composition, combining experimental music and contemporary art within Aitken’s ALTERED EARTH installation. With the idea of breaking down the stage and the barriers that separate music and image, the installation will become a seamless experience that empowers the viewer to embrace the essence of the creative moment. Concurrent with the ALTERED EARTH performance, the viewer can move through different configurations of the installation. Each viewer will be individually and uniquely constructing narratives from what surrounds them.

ALTERED EARTH was first projected onto a purpose-built transparent screen positioned on the Place de la République in Arles in July 2011 during the opening of the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie. The second stage of this work was the launch of the App ALTERED EARTH at the Serpentine Gallery in London in October 2011. For its third part, the exhibition ALTERED EARTH: Arles, city of moving images will be housed in the Grande Halle in Arles, one of the original buildings that belonged to the old SNCF railway workshops in the Parc des Ateliers where the LUMA Foundation is planning to build a new center for the production of ideas, art and exhibitions.

ALTERED EARTH: Arles, city of moving images follows in a series of exhibitions and conferences commissioned and produced by the LUMA Foundation for the Parc des Ateliers in Arles.

Parc des Ateliers
Grande Halle
24 Avenue Victor Hugo
Arles, France