Week 7 Artist – Janet Cardiff

Janet Cardiff is an artist born in 1957 and is currently 59 years old. She is Canadian and works alongside her husband, George Bures Miller, who is also Canadian. They work together to produce sound art and installation art. Janet Cardiff is a contemporary artist. She received recognition and was more well-known for her audio walks in 1995. Janet Cardiff created audio walks, in which she would explain certain pieces of artwork while you walk around a museum or an art gallery. Janet Cardiff is definitely a very unique artist producing contemporary art. She brings art to a whole new level by creating audio walks, using actual sound to bring alive and challenge the definition of art. I love that she collaborates with her husband, George, to create art together that involves actual sound.

In the first photo, Darkpool is a storeroom filled with antiques in which old speakers sound mysterious messages as people walk by it. Darkpool is part of a “family,” as Cardiff and Miller describe it. I’d be afraid to sit in the chair in between the two speakers because of the possible effect it would have on my eardrums, as it may be damaging to them, but I do find it quite interesting. In the second photo, there are many, many speakers on the table. The speakers are all different sizes and shapes, but they serve one function – to produce sound. Of course, the volume produced by each speaker is different, based on the size. The speakers will play music based on the person’s movement around the table. If you move closer to a particular speaker, it will start producing sound. “Experiment in F# Minor” is part of the same series as Dark Pool. I looked on YouTube and found the video of a person recording himself walking around the table. To me, it sounded more like B minor than like F# minor. There were also other instruments, like the drums, that played in the background, which added to the sound effects of the music.

In the third photo, which is my personal favorite, is called “The House of Books Has No Windows.” It is made up of antique books that were published in the UK. From afar, I think it is a very creative masterpiece, as Janet Cardiff and George Miller are inspired by books. As the title of this piece states, this house has no windows, and I think the purpose of the lack of windows is to silence our surroundings and hear the voices in our head that “talks to us when we read.” I’m impressed by how the roof was put together and I ponder on the amount of time it took to build this piece, as well as how much this piece weighs.


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