Artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken is organizing a three-week, cross-country culture tour via train that's booked to arrive in the Twin Cities on September 12. The train will travel from New York City to San Francisco making 10 stops en route.
Called "Station to Station," the project aims to launch a "revolutionary endowment model" to fund new art programs and "creative collisions" in 2014. The money from ticket sales and donations is expected to go to partner institutions, including most likely Walker Art Center which is a supporter of the program.
"This is a fast moving cultural journey," Aitken said in a statement forwarded by the Walker. Describing the endeavor in existential terms that curiously echo the title of a famous Gauguin painting, Aitken continued, "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."
He expects the train to be a moving "cultural studio" that will broadcast content and experiences at its stops and while moving. Aitken has enlisted an A list of avant garde talent as participants including artists Kenneth Anger, Olaf Breuning, Peter Coffin, Urs Fischer, Meschac Gaba, Liz Glynn, Carsten Holler, Christian Jankowski, Aaron Koblin, Ernesto Neto, Jack Pierson, Stephen Shore, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Lawrence Weiner; musicians Dan Deacon, Eleanor Friedberger, Charlotte Gainsbourg, David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors, Nite Jewel, No Age, Ariel Pink, Savages, and Twin Shadow; writers Dave Hickey, Barney Hoskyns, and Rick Moody; and chefs Alice Waters and Leif Hedendal, and the Edible Schoolyard Project. More participants are expected to sign on before the wheels roll.
Besides the Walker, supporting institutions include MoMA PS1, Carnegie Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, SITE Santa Fe, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). The Levi's brand is a collaborator. After the train trip ends, Aitken expects to continue the project via museum programs, a documentary and a book.
[Photo: Doug Aitken]