Balloons aren’t good at traveling in a straight line, along a predetermined route. But they are great for getting perspective.

“It’s one of the first methods that were used to look out at our surroundings, at the landscape, to get this unfettered view of everything around you,” said Pedro Alonzo, a curator of contemporary art. “So it changed our view of the Earth, and our surroundings.”

That’s why a 100-foot-tall balloon with a mirrored surface is featured in “New Horizon,” a work by artist Doug Aitken that is traveling to several Trustees of Reservations properties this summer and will be at the Crane Estate in Ipswich on Sunday and Monday.

Part road trip, part 1960s-style happening, “New Horizon” is part of the Trustees’ Art & the Landscape initiative, which began in 2016 and invites artists to create original works for their properties. 

The balloon’s flying time will be limited by weather conditions, and it won’t be taking off at the Crane Estate, for fear that it might end up in the Bahamas, Alonzo said. Instead, it will function primarily as a metaphor for looking over the horizon and into the future. 

“This is a really interesting time to talk about the future,” Alonzo said. “There’s a lot of apprehension, fear, concern.”

Where most artists in Art & the Landscape fashion works that respond to specific properties, Aitken wanted to create something that would tie a number of sites together. 

“He said, ‘I want to propose a giant, mobile sculpture that travels from property to property and sets off a series of events,’” Alonzo said.

The events at the Crane Estate will include, on Sunday, a discussion of “The Future of Identity” with David Edwards of the Cambridge-based World Frontier Forum and Katie Rae of MIT’s The Engine, which supports startup technology companies. 

They will focus on technology and privacy and will be followed by musical performances from two unique vocalists, Moses Sumney and Julianna Barwick.

On Monday, the discussion will turn to “Future Collaboration,” and the participants will include journalist Dean Kuipers and Lauri Kranz, founder of Edible Gardens LA, who will explore forms of collaboration that can help combat climate change. 

Music for the evening will be provided by Jonsi, a member of the experimental Icelandic rock band Sigur Ros, and Barwick. 

“This is a very complex, ambitious project that will have lots and lots of moving parts,” Alonzo said. “Doug is very involved in everything, a lot of the details. He’ll be filming and leading the discussion.”   

Aitken is a California native who graduated from art school in 1991 and was awarded the Golden Lion — the top prize — in 1999 at the Venice Biennale, a prestigious international art exhibition.

“Doug really became known early on for his film-based work, video installations,” Alonzo said. “His recognition was as a video artist, but he continued to expand on that. He still makes videos and installations, but now, he’s really breaking ground and breaking with all forms of tradition.”

Aitken’s works are often centered on modes of transportation, to highlight the act of creation as a process of constant change.

For example, “Station to Station” from 2013 was a journey by train that crossed the United States over 23 days and featured live performances by a range of musicians and visual artists.

“The train was the journey, but at each stop, there was an event,” said Alonzo, who was present when “Station to Station” visited New York.

The balloon in “New Horizon” may be mute, but it will contribute to each event by reflecting the environment with its mirrored surface during the day and emitting light from LEDs in response to the music at night.

“The balloon is more of a beacon that brings people together to experience different forms of expression,” Alonzo said.

By setting a number of elements in motion at his happenings, Aitken wants to break down barriers that may limit our appreciation for each of those forms.

“One of the things Doug thinks about is the way we consume culture,” Alonzo said. “If it’s art, it’s in a white box,” or gallery. 

“If it’s performance, it’s in a theater somewhere,” he said. “It’s all programmed, timed, and it’s all separate.”

By contrast, these evenings at the Crane Estate and across the state seek to create something new by combining music and food with speculative dialogue and visual representation in a unique whole.

“It’s really an effort to dissolve these ideas and present them all together,” Alonzo said. “It’s been awkward to articulate because this doesn’t happen all the time.”

If you go

What: “The Future of Identity,” with speakers David Edwards and Katie Rae, music by Moses Sumney and Julianna Barwick, and balloon light spectacle after sunset

When: Sunday, 6 p.m.

Where: Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich

How much: $40 for adults, $25 for students and Trustees members, free for children under 6

What: “Future Collaborations,” with speakers Dean Kuipers and Lauri Kranz, music by Jonsi and Julianna Barwick, and balloon light spectacle after sunset

When: Monday, 6 p.m.

Where: Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich

How much: $40 for adults, $25 for students and Trustees members, free for children under 6

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