The video and light work consists of a horizontal band of LED tiles and column-like LED strips that stretch 120 feet up the stainless steel and glass facade. But rather than competing with the building, Mirror “extends the experience of the architecture,” says Brad Cloepfil, founding principal of Allied Works. “It brings in a narrative of sorts,” he says.
Aitken’s narrative relies on hundreds of hours of footage that the artist filmed at various locations in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, capturing both natural and manmade environments, such as the snow-covered Cascade Mountains, the city’s skyscrapers, and workers assembling jets on the floor of a Boeing factory. The imagery moves across the building’s facade both horizontally and vertically, creating kaleidoscopic patterns that combine and overlap. Sensors placed just outside the museum capture real-time conditions—including automobile traffic, pedestrian movement, and weather—and then a computer algorithm adjusts the sequence and rhythm of the vignettes according to changes in the museum's surrondings.