Janet Cardiff and her Walks

I’ve been waiting for a video artist like this for a while. Janet Cardiff makes videos and audio tracks that take you on a “tour” through an area. It sounds simple but she’s done it in a very thought out way that makes her works amazing. Her walks take you on a journey through not just your time but her time recording and even her memories in that area. She perfectly stacks 3 different timezones into a work of art worthy of fame

This was the video posted for my class. She has 25 works on her website to view also. I like how in this video A man played her video at the same time as recording his, giving people at home a way to see what watching her tour is like. She has a very interesting way of guiding the viewer. She sounds very relaxed and she walks to each point. She also doesn’t wait for you to catch up. It’s the opposite of a traditional tour, making it feel personal and strong.

She also talks about memories or, like in the above video, she points herself out and talks about the night before. Memories seem to be a reoccurring thing in her work. when you think about it, if you’ve every showed somebody around somewhere you always say something along the lines of, “Oh yeah and this is where I did that one thing.” She talks to YOU the viewer and nobody else.

As I said above, she’s about to match different times together. What I meant by that is the time you are there with the time she was recording with the time in her memories. She is able to combine these but still make a Walk that is calming and intriguing.

I think what’s the greatest part of what she does is that it makes you think in your free time. A couple other students talked about how they walked somewhere and thought of her work like would it be like if she did a walk here. what would it look like or sound like. This is great. I believe that the greatest thing to do is to watch things and to see things from your own and someone else’s view, because if you change your perspective, you change your understanding.
Enough cliche for now, The point is she might see of feel certain things that you wouldn’t see on your own.

Side note: This kind of reminds me of when I was in Rome. After the tour I was on ended at a pub, a friend and I had a little too much booze with the tour guide and went back into the city. She talked about the monuments and sculptures in a way that was phenomenal. She talked about the merchants in that area and the places people would walk and hang out. I don’t know if any of what she said was true but while she was extremely hammered, she was able to paint pictures in our brains of what it was like to live in Rome during it’s prime.

In other news, I realized that watching anime in the background is a terrible idea, for two reasons.

1. I get distracted easily, but silence in annoying so….

2. I don’t understand Japanese very well so I miss half of what they are saying.


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