Janet Cardiff

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 5: Developing Methods - A Sense of Time and Place, Research & Reflection

Janet Cardiff is a Canadian artist who works with immersive multimedia, sound and audio/video walks (Miller, 2022). She often collaborates with Georges Bures Miller on the video walks to create alternative realities for the audience who listen to (and view) the constructed narrative, layered with background sounds and directions.

I spent some time looking at the different walks on their website. I selected Thought Experiments in F# Minor, described as “A labyrinthine video walk that takes you inside and outside of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A”.


The piece is genuinely captivating. It is difficult to explain in words and is something people should experience for themselves. I was left questioning reality, what it means to watch something, and how time and place interact. There is a ghost-like quality to watching a video of someone watching a location where previous interactions took place. The impact is enormous on the audience.

The same place is used in the video, but there is previous footage of past events being shown at the same time as someone walking the tour. In addition, there are more fantastical elements, such as the cat conductor. The cat also links to the idea of reality in Schrodingers cat. What is real? Is video footage real? The people in the video are both alive and also not necessarily. An image or video always shows the past. We can then meet the person, the person has aged, changed, or in some cases, they may even have passed away, but the photo still exists.

Ideas for my Own Work

I find this piece very inspirational. I wonder if I could incorporate some time shifts in my own piece about mapping digital pieces. Superimposes two days of work on top of each other.

References
Miller, J.C. & G.B. (2022). Biography. [online] Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller. Available at: https://cardiffmiller.com/biography/ [Accessed 3 Apr 2022].

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