Janet Cardiff

Janet Cardiff is an installation artist, best known for her audio works. We admired how her work took the listeners on a journey of a particular site, getting them to explore and investigate. Her Long Black Hair took listeners around Central Park on a winding, mysterious journey, retracing the footsteps. “As Cardiff’s voice on the audio soundtrack guides the listeners through the park, they are occasionally prompted to pull out and view a photograph. These images link the speaker and the listener within their shared physically surrounding of Central Park shifting between the present, the recent past, and more distant past” (Cardiff, 2012). Another of Cardiff’s works that uses audio is The Missing Voice (Case Study B) “as in many of her audio walks [... Cardiff] speaks directly to the participant/listener in the second person you voice over headphones” (Petralia, DATE, p.106), highlighting how important this technology is in relation to performance and spectator.

Cardiff creates a type of intimacy with the audience, through the use of headphones as a listening device. Hearing someone’s voice through headphones could be somewhat more intimate for the spectator rather than seeing the person in front of you. We believe that this is partially because of the distortion it creates between sight and sound in the brain.

In response to our own performance, we create a different type of intimacy with the spectator as we are allowing the audience to link what they see to what they hear as it comes out of our mouths. The intimacy were are exploring is more similar to the intimacy you create when have physical contact with a body/person, rather than a place, unlike a few of Cardiff’s works.


Works Cited

Cardiff, Janet (2012) Her Long Black Hair. Online: www.cardiffmiller.com (accessed: 28th November 12)

Petralia, Peter Salvatore (2010) Headspace: Architectural Space in the Brain, in Contemporary Theatre Review, 20:1 (pp. 96-108)


This entry was posted in Demi Morrison, Leanne Mckettrick, Research. Bookmark the permalink.

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