The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

Profile: Doug Aitken


What is Station to Station?

Station to Station is a living project exploring modern creativity. It’s an artist-driven project that I created as an alternative to the capitalist model, a space and time to explore the modern experience.

Station to Station first crossed North America by train in 2013, with a constantly changing group of creative contributors taking part in ten unique happenings in different cities where the train stopped. The project was recorded and shared as it happened. From that experience we created a feature film composed of 62 one-minute films documenting the indelible moments of the journey, as well as a 230-page full-colour book.

What began as a train journey has evolved into a platform for cross-collaboration between mediums and creativity, with London being the next iteration. The value of Station to Station is to develop something unique and to raise the human experience. The project embraces an approach of dematerialised, time-based creativity.


What inspired you to create Station to Station?

Station to Station came out of a sense of urgency about how compartmentalised culture has become. Away from the confines of a tour or an exhibition, the project creates an environment for different mediums to exist together in an atmosphere of possibility and experimentation. We wanted to generate an alternative platform, a space where work could be created – music, contemporary art, film, any medium really – and live independently, without the necessity of a specific place. I wanted a sense of experimentation, a platform for people to occupy and make their own.


What is so special about the Barbican Centre that made you choose it as a venue?

The Barbican Centre is one of the only cultural centres that presents art, music and film, giving each an equal level of importance. The space and programme is truly unique in this way, and shares the sensibilities and vision of Station to Station. This amazing campus in the centre of London will be activated by Station to Station to become a living exhibition and an international broadcast tower for modern culture.


What can people expect when they visit throughout the 30 days?

People will experience a ‘living exhibition’ that is continuously evolving. Every day new artists, musicians and film-makers will join and new works will be introduced, created, performed and shown. The programme includes live rehearsals, performances, talks, interviews and workshops and will be an exciting space for artists, musicians, designers and film-makers to come together to inspire and respond to each other, and for audiences to be involved in this creative interaction. With over 100 events ranging from vinyl pressing, smoke bomb installations and dance residencies to spiritual speed dating, music performances and immersive installations, Station to Station provides a platform for visitors to get involved in the creative process.

Station to Station welcomes the unexpected. I think that you can try to create an experience and share that with people, but in the end it will happen the way it does, in the moment, in the present – and that’s it.