At the end of the month the grunge capital of the United States will get a whole lot vainer when the Seattle Art Museum unveils its new mirrored facade by Doug Aitken.
"Mirror" continues the multi-disciplinary artist's explorations of space and time. A kaleidoscopic LED display will wrap around the museum's exterior, projecting images from snowy mountain caps to crowded city streets. The band of images dissolve upward into horizontal rows-- fluctuating, expanding and collapsing in relation to the energy of the surrounding city.
The piece, which Aitken referred to as an "urban earthwork" in a press release, will morph in real-time to mimic the dynamic culture of the city. A computer program will sift through and project images responding to a live feed tracking Seattle's energy in measurements spanning from weather to traffic. In a statement emailed to the Huffington Post, Aitken explained:
"The installation will never repeat itself; it will simply change continuously. I don’t know what direction it may go or how it might respond at times to the city, but that’s my belief in this project…to embrace the newness and experimentation that the installation creates."
This is not Aitken's first time disassembling the architecture of a museum space. His 2007 piece "Sleepwalkers" projected cinematic vignettes of nocturnal journeys from icons including Tilda Swinton and Chan Marshall onto the streets of Manhattan. T Magazine acknowledged Aitken's eye for liquid architecture, lauding his "ability to project a state of poetic attentiveness onto the cityscape, translating mindfulness and wonder into imaginative architectural interventions."
The highly-anticipated installation will be unveiled on Sunday, March 24 at the Seattle Art Museum. In tandem with the unveiling, the museum will host a "Happening" in honor of its shiny new exterior, where the Seattle Symphony will play works by Terry Riley and Steve Reich.
Take a look at renderings of the hypnotic installation in the slideshow below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.