Click to skip to site content
Collection > Doug Aitken >

electric earth

1999

No image available
  • Medium

    Video installation with eight channels of video (color, sound), eight projections, four–room architectural environment

  • Dimensions

    9:50 minutes/loop, dimensions variable

  • Credit

    The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, partial and promised gift of David Teiger in honor of Jeremy Strick 

  • Accession number

    2000.13

  • Object label

    ​The protagonist of electric earth is imagined as the last person on earth. Lying on a motel bed, he drowsily stares at a TV; he strolls along urban streets at night; and shortly after his image is captured on a 99 Cent store’s surveillance camera, the electricity emanating from car washes, streetlamps, and vending machines sends him into a convulsive fit or mechanical dance. He twitches and pulsates in sync with radars, security scanners, and brake lights. Electric earth consists of eight projections in four rooms; this structure disjoints the viewer’s experience and parallels the frenetic time dimension the protagonist experiences. According to Aitken, traditional film and video structure experience in a linear way. But since time is more complex than that, Aitken asked himself, “How can I make time somehow collapse or expand, so it no longer unfolds in this one narrow form?”