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Taking to the skies in a mirrored hot air balloon: artist Doug Aitken is flying high

New Horizon Doug Aitken hot air balloon
New Horizon is the latest sculpture by American artist Doug Aitken: a 100ft high, mirrored hot air balloon

It’s 72 hours to take-off when Doug Aitken telephones from his studio in California. The American artist is preparing for the departure of his latest sculpture – a mirrored hot air balloon that will, from Friday, be floating through the Massachusetts landscape at will. He’s about to get on a plane, he tells me, to meet it in Martha’s Vineyard. He has hardly slept, eager for the journey to begin.

Commissioned by The Trustees, a members organisation that protects more than 100 sites across the state of Massachusetts, New Horizon is part travelling art installation, part happening, part rabble-rouser, designed to provide an entirely different encounter at each of its 16 scheduled pit-stops. 

Along...

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