There's always been something a bit hippy-ish about the Californian multimedia artist, Doug Aitken. Gallery-goers have reveled in his trippy videos and installations with names like Acid Modernism and 99c Dreams. So, it shouldn't come as any surprise to hear his new project, described in a suitable mid-century parlance, as a 'nomadic happening'.
If anything, this undersells Station to Station, which takes the ambitions of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters and the founding spirit of say, the Lollapalooza festival, and pushes it in new and interesting ways. From 9 September until 28 September 2013 Aitken's specially commissioned train will carry a band of artists - including Stephen Shore, Kenneth Anger, Urs Fischer, Olaf Breuning, Rirkrit Tiravanija - musicians - look out for Ariel Pink, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Deacon, No Age and Savages- writers - Dave Hickey, Barney Hoskyns and Rick Moody - and chefs - Alice Waters and Leif Hedendal, and the Edible Schoolyard Project - on a ten-station tour of America, from New York to San Francisco.
The whole thing is sponsored by Levis, and partnered with galleries along the way, from MoMA/PS1 through to SF MoMA. Just what will take place on board, or happen at each stop is unclear, yet Aitken apparently want to capture the spirit of the age.
"This is a fast-moving cultural journey, a constant search over the new horizons of our changing culture. Grounded in some basic questions - Who are we? Where are we going? And, at this moment, how can we express ourselves? - our intention is to create a modern cultural manifesto," The LA Times reports Aikten as saying. "For a short time, the most interesting place in the country will be a moving target."
We'd certainly like to hitch a ride. For more, go here. To learn more about Doug Aitken, please take a look at our brilliant monograph, and for an earlier view of America, see Station To Station collaborator Stephen Shore's book American Surfaces.