“Impossible” is a word Doug Aitken knows all too well. Like Christo and Jeanne-Claude before him, the California-based artist dreams in a grand, often intimidating scale, yet he is never deterred. For the last 20 years, Aitken has crisscrossed the globe, promoting his vision for all that public art can be: a visceral soup of visual stimulants across many mediums. The two common threads in all of his work are its grandiose size and its recurring technological components. Aitken’s latest and greatest creation is no exception, and is perhaps his most ambitious project to date: Station to Station.
Also known as STS, the Station to Station project, features a converted nine-car Amtrak train that is pulled by two diesel-electric locomotives as it makes its way to nine different stops across the country. The train is essentially a multi-media project in motion: one car, the St. Crois Valley, serves as a recording studio, while another, the Wisconsin Valley, functions as a video editing room. Levi’s®, always known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to art and design, has turned a third car into a mobile gallery and creation space, with the remainder of the cars serving as sleeping and dining quarters for those on-board. New York Magazine described the STS train as “Coachella on Wheels,” with a nomadic vibe similar to Burning Man and SXSW.
Eager to help some of today’s most creative minds pull off this unique artistic feat, Levi’s® STS as an opportunity to help further equip and inspire today’s creative thought leaders, and used it as a launching pad for their new #MakeOurMark initiative. A virtual forum that helps expand the ongoing dialogue between artists, the Levi’s® #MakeOurMark initiative asks its participants four key questions: Who are you? What moves you? What’s your approach? What’s your dream? Contributors can use a variety of platforms to take part, such as SoundCloud (for music), Instagram (for visual art), and Twitter (for writing). Notable participants thus far have included photographer Ryan McGinley, skateboarder Natas Kaupas, Google Creative Lab’s Justin Windle, and, most recently, novelist Dave Eggers.
The Levi’s® #MakeOurMark encourages collaboration among artists and fans worldwide. You can find out more and take part in the ongoing conversations on public art by visiting levi.com/makeourmark.