Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller


Ortsspezifische Audioguide-Touren an der Grenze zwischen Fiktion und Realität

Walks_Forest Walk_Banff Centre_1991 [link 01]

Walks_Forest Walk_Banff Centre_1991



"Walks" lässt sich am besten als eine Serie sitespezifischer Audio-Führungen durch Natur- und Stadtlandschaften, durch architektonische Räume und Kunstausstellungen beschreiben. Das konventionelle Wissensvermittlungsformat
von Audio-Führungen wird um 3D-Tonaufnahmen erweitert und zur Gestaltung einer höchst unkonventionellen, zuweilen verstörenden Erfahrung eingesetzt. Die Aufzeichnung von Cardiffs Stimme und ihrer Schritte führt den mit einem Walk-
oder Discman ausgestatteten Teilnehmer durch das Environment. Die Künstlerin weist den Weg, dabei macht sie auf Objekte und Ereignisse aus Gegenwart und Vergangenheit aufmerksam, sie erzählt aber auch Geschichten und teilt Gedanken mit. Cardiff: "Die Person aus dem Publikum hört eine Collage von Tönen, die sich von ihrer Wahrnehmung als reale Geräusche [der Umgebung] zu komplett konstruierten Klanglandschaften verändern [...]. Dieses Format spielt zwar mit dem der Audio-Führung im Museum, der Zuhörer bemerkt aber sehr schnell, dass sie Teil eines virtuellen Raumes geworden sind, der sich zwischen einem [...] Thriller und einer persönlichen Reise bewegt."

KünstlerInnen / AutorInnen

  • Janet Cardiff
  • George Bures Miller


Kanada, 1991-2004

Partner / Sponsoren

Walks sind künstlerische Projekte, die von Museumskuratoren zum Ankauf oder für spezielle Ausstellungen in Autrag gegeben wurden. Zu den Kunden und Partnern zählen: Artangel, London; San Francisco MOMA; St. Louis Art Museum; The Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo; Musee D’Art Contemporain, Montreal; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Villa Medici, Rom u.a.


Gesamtkosten: Walks wurde privat finanziert und die Kosten variieren je nach dem Ausstellungsort. Walks als komplettes Kunstwerk kostet ca. $ 75000.

Eingabe des Beitrags

, 11.05.2004


  • künstlerische Arbeit


  • Themen:
    • Kulturvermittlung |
    • Fiktion |
    • Wahrnehmung |
    • Audio |
    • öffentlicher Raum |
    • Augmented Reality
  • Formate:
    • Audio

Ergänzungen zur Schlagwortliste

  • Walkman


Inhaltliche Beschreibung

Descriptions of individual Walks:

This is an eight-minute audio-guided tour through a forest at the Banff Centre, recorded with binaural sound. On the tape there is the sound of a the artist's voice, and of her body walking through the forest. The voice gives directions, while pointing out flowers, trees and people passing, sometimes telling stories and thoughts. As with others in this series including "an inability.." the entering into someone else's intimate space through the binaural sound is an important aspect of the piece. The syncronicity of events that are described on tape with things that happen in the listener's real time are exciting yet disorienting.

A binaural audio walk that takes the listener through the environment of the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles.

This is a 13 minute binaural audio piece that guides participants through the sculpture park of the Louisiana Museum, (Denmark) with a walkman. The audience member listens to a collage of sounds that shift from what is perceived to be the actual sounds of the park to completely fabricated soundscapes. They also hear the sound of the body, footsteps, and voice of the person giving instructions and thoughts. The use of the headset and binaural sound creates an eerie personal space that the listener enters into, almost as if entering into someone else's mind and body. Even though the format plays with that of the museum audio tour the listener finds out very soon that they have become part of a virtual space that hovers between a science fiction thriller and a personal journey.

(2 parts: audio walk & telescope)
This is a 11 minute binaural audio walk that guides participants through the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The audience member listens to a collage of sounds that shift from what is perceived to be the actual sounds of the museum to completely fabricated soundscapes. As they walk they also hear the sound of the body, footsteps, and voice of the person giving instructions and thoughts. The narrative references cinematic sources, (especially Hitchcockís "Vertigo"), as well as architectural metaphors of religious apotheosis. Even though the format plays with that of the museum audio tour the listener finds out very soon that they have become part of a virtual space that hovers between a detective thriller and a personal journey.

Jori Finkel writes about Chiaroscuro:
„[...] For the price of museum admission and the deposit of a driver's license, you get a Walkman and Cardiff's eleven minutes of audio. As the tape plays, she coaxes you through the museum, beginning and ending on the fifth floor. She paces you with her walking, reminds you of her childhood memories, and directs your attention ("Notice the scuffmarks on the wall"), all via the tape. She has you stop beneath the balcony, and look up at the man stepping overhead. She has you stand at the window, where she colors the South San Francisco hills as a sort of modern-day pastoral. Nothing outside the tape will touch this greenery, and even the museum's paintings fade into the background. The only interruptions come from Cardiff herself, who has built into her otherwise wishful world a fair amount of static: the crowd's rumbling, someone shouting, an airplane buzz cutting into the serenity. The beauty of the work is how seductive, or softly, it displaces your own patterns of attention and perception.[...]“ (Express Magazine. Oct. 3, 1997, Visual Arts Over There - a critical guide to San Francisco events)

John Weber writes about Chiaroscuro:
„[...] For these pieces, individual audience members don a stereo cassette player and are guided by the artist's mesmerizing voice along a predetermined path. Her spoken and whispered words are intercut with bits of ambient sound; snippets of audio apparently sampled from TV, genre films, or radio melodramas; and observations or questions whispered by an unidentified man. The result is an audio collage that borrows from sources such as film noir, avant-garde cinema, modernist fiction, and radio plays but which ultimately fits into no accepted category of art making. Cardiff employs a binaural recording technique in which microphones are placed simultaneously on each side of the head, picking up stereophonic sound with the full three-dimensionality perceived by human ears. When played using headphones, these recording have an uncanny effect; sound recorded by Cardiff on -site blends with live ambient sound, creating a dislocating uncertainty concerning what is recorded "fiction" and what is "reality." To experience Cardiff's work is to invite the artist's voice into one's head in a way that is eerie and intoxicating. She generally speaks in a distinctly private but neutral tone - far removed from the voices used in public. At other times an intimate, almost confessional, erotic, or conspiratorial tone fosters the impression that Cardiff has mistaken the listener for someone else and is revealing things that he or she may not be intended to hear, lending a voyeuristic quality to certain passages. Her narration alternates between real-time observations and memories and other ruminations with dreamlike fluidity. Fragments of stories and natural sound function like audio snapshots, montaged together in a stream-of-consciousness narrative that creates intensely specific, yet open-ended, impressions. The visible and invisible, present and past are evoked aurally, heightening the intensity of the viewer's actual visual experience by intermittently directing and then dislocating it. [...].")(San Francisco 1997: Present Tense. exhibition catalogue. SFMOMA )

Wanås Walk, 1998
(collection The Wanås Foundation)
This is a site walk created for an exhibition at Wanås, a sculpture park in Sweden. The walk begins in a farmyard and continues into an old overgrown forest.

see: Review by Gary Michael Dault!

A 14 minute site walk produced for the exhibition, "The Museum as Muse" at the MOMA in New York City.

Eleanor Heartney writes about MOMA Walk:
„[...] Unlike a conventional audio guide, which dictates interpretations of works in the name of education, Cardiff’s tape invited its listener to walk out of the exhibition, make eye contact with museum guards, gaze out the window and pause intermittently before Cardiff’s favorite paintings. The “tour” was highly idiosyncratic, giving one the feeling of sharing private moments of appreciation with a decidedly unconventional guide [...].“ (A Cabinet of Critiques. Museum of Modern Art's "The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect" exhibition, In: Art in America, Dec, 1999, p.121)

(These texts have been published before at Janet Cardiff´s homepage: http://www.abbeymedia.com/Janweb/artwork.html)



Janet Cardiff has said that she went for a walk in a cemetery and recorded the inscriptions on the tombstones on a Dictaphone that she was carrying. When she went home and listened to it later, she thought it sounded interesting and it inspired her to create an audio “walk.”

Three dimensional sound recording. Locating the viewer in space. How the viewer interacts with the art work, and the boundaries of experience.

Sound recording and editing

Very positive reaction. The walks explore the boundaries of intimacy, physical space of the viewer in relationship to the artwork. They question how artwork functions within and outside of the gallery or museum white box space. The questions that arise are innumerable.

The Paradise Institute was shown at the Venice Bienniale where Cardiff and Miller represented Canada. This piece also uses three-dimensional sound, but the viewers are seated in a mock theatre. la biennale di venezia, 2001, Pavillon, Canada

(All answers by Claudia Altman-Siegel, Luhring Augustine Gallery , NY on behalf of Janet Cardiff)

  • › Medienkunst und Forschung [link 02]

» http://www.abbeymedi…ia.com/Janweb/jan.htm [link 03]

  • › Review_Wanås Walk_1998_by G.M. Dault [PDF | 66 KB ] [link 04]
  • › Walks_I've been waiting for you_Chateau Marmont_1996 [42 KB ] [link 05]
  • › Walks_Chirascuro_1997_San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [109 KB ] [link 06]
  • › Fig._Wanås Walk_1998_Wanås Foundation Sweden [JPEG | 27 KB ] [link 07]