Smithsonian magazine honored 10 people with the 2013 American Ingenuity Awards today, including two with regional ties: Doug Aitken, the Southern California-based multimedia artist whose giant, reactive “Mirror” was installed on the side/front of the Seattle Art Museum last year; and Michael Skinner, of Washingon State University’s Center for Reproductive Biology.
Aitken creates “videopaloozas of murmuring sonics and drifting visuals — equal parts Antonioni, Eno and Disney. Since the 1990s, beating the calendar by a decade, he’s been laying 21st-century siege to 20th-century structures,” writes Steve Erickson on Smithsonian.com. Skinner was honored for leading the way in the field of transgenerational epigenetics, or the study of inherited changes that can’t be explained by traditional genetics, writes Jeneen Interlandi, in her piece on the natural sciences honoree. “Not only is your great-grandmother’s environment affecting your health, Skinner concluded, but the chemicals she was exposed to may have left a fingerprint that scientists can actually trace,” she notes. Skinner’s research was honored by
Discover Magazine as one of the top 100 discoveries of 2005.