Week 7 – Artist – Janet Cardiff

janet cardiff


Janet Cardiff is a modern artist, again of unconventional means. While for most, art is still seen somewhere along the lines of paint on a canvas; Cardiff changes the whole structure with her audio and visual tours.These tours took place in many different kinds of environments and took on many different views triggering many different emotions of the audience.

Cardiff’s Works

Cardiff’s works are truly unique. I’ve seen video tours and participated in audio tours such as the one on Alcatraz in San Francisco, but there was nothing artistic to those. There is something un-explainable about it that makes the tours what they are. It could be the semi-staged scenes or her soothing voice. The somber and quiet background music or the deepness of her words.

And Me?

I am truly at a lack of words with this artist, as you can tell by the briefness of this blog post compared to the others. When listening to Glenn’s lecture I was stumped on what he was even talking about. I understood the concept of the audio and video tour but I couldn’t understand why someone would ever consider that art. Immediately after I watched one of her video/audio tours and it started to make sense. There is a unique kind of beauty in her videos and audio clips that I haven’t seen or heard anywhere else. The best way I could really try to understand her works was to try it myself. I walked through my neighborhood thinking on those deeper terms and it brought new questions that I have never even thought of because of how comfortable I was in that area. After, I tried it in a place I was unfamiliar with and tried recording it and speaking like she did.

The result was once again as curious as trying to understand her works. I’m not used to asking those kind of conversations, and trying to think that while I, myself, was exhausted and trying to figure out where to go was actually very interesting, and I think called for something a little more interesting than I would have expected. I believe her work isn’t something that you can explain in any way, no matter how hard you try, but instead is something one needs to experience to try to understand.


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