JOSEPH AKEL: In the last year or so, you’ve worked on large-scale installations—Mirage in the deserts of Palm Springs, your “Underwater Pavilions” off the coast of Catalina Island, and The Garden in Arhaus, Denmark—that speak to experience, embodiment, time, and perception. Is there a conceptual thread that links all of these together?
DOUG AITKEN: One of the things that you brought up just now was this idea of connectivity and experience. As you were talking, I was thinking about the “Underwater Pavilions” and the first time I had a chance to swim underwater towards the sculptures. There was this moment where I found myself sinking under the Pacific Ocean with a weight belt on over my wetsuit, and in that moment, I had this out-of-body experience. Here I am, I’m weightless, I’m in this completely vulnerable and foreign situation, and everything feels disorienting, and I’m sinking.
[Photograph by Julien Roubinet]