June 15, 2024


Doug Aitken’s photograph, Passenger – currently showing as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s contemporary photography review – made me wistful and wishful all at once this weekend.

I know I am not the only one who stares out of plane windows at 30,000 feet hoping for some interruption to the endless horizon, some sign that we are not alone.  Aitken makes that connection here, and yet the disconnect is that it’s rendered so antiseptic. We are all passengers, he seems to say, hurtling through the air with seatbelts securely fastened and noses sufficiently pressed to the glass, content in our technology-driven existence.

Recovering from surgery, I won’t be staring out of any plane windows for a while. My wings, so to speak, have been clipped.  Yet the interregnum also gives me an interesting chance to ponder what it means to travel.  And be a passenger.

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