This program is online only (via Zoom and Facebook Live).
Register in advance now! Advance registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the talk.

This program will be recorded and made available following the event. You will find it on this page and on our YouTube channel.

Artist Doug Aitken joins Hirshhorn curator-at-large Gianni Jetzer for an exploration into his genre defying practice that reimagines participation in art.

Aitken is well-loved in DC for his 2012 site-specific work SONG 1, which transformed the Hirshhorn’s iconic donut-shaped building into a 360-degree audiovisual spectacle to the sounds of “I Only Have Eyes for You.” The work, now in the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection, dramatically shifted the connection between the museum and its urban environment, a monumental example of the artist’s ongoing pursuits to discover the unknown and redefine our relationship with art and the world around us.

Aitken works across subject matter and media, from film and sculpture to installations and architectural interventions. In 2009, his Sonic Pavilion allowed visitors to hear the sounds the Earth from a continuous live feed from geological microphones situated a couple hundred meters below ground. His 2011 video installation Black Mirror explored the alienation of people in constant motion, while his 2015 project Station to Station traveled cross country for three weeks as a train, reimagined as a moving light sculpture, that broadcast content from New York City to San Francisco, only stopping nine times for a series of stationary happenings. His 2016 installation Underwater Pavilions put the marine environment and the global challenges around ocean conservation in dialogue with art through the creation of three reflective sculptures moored ot the ocean floor. In a strikingly similar exploration of space in a vastly different setting, Mirage takes the form of a home originally installed in the desert and made entirely of mirrors, at once disappearing into and reflecting back on the nature that surrounds it.

1:50 pm EDT | Zoom broadcast opens
2–3 pm EDT | Doug Aitken in conversation with Gianni Jetzer                 

CART (real-time captioning) will be provided for this program. If you have any questions about accessibility for this program, please email

This virtual event is part of Talking to Our Time, the Hirshhorn’s online series of free, live artist talks featuring a diverse group of artists and collectives. View all events! The project is also in conjunction with #HirshhornInsideOut, the Museum’s initiative to bring art into your home.

Can’t wait? Listen to Doug Aitken discuss SONG 1