Janet Cardiff’s work combines sound, movement and the environment. Her artworks, whether they are installations or walking pieces, are mainly audio based and integrate additional media including sound, film, video and photography.
“I am interested in how and to what extent hearing can influence our perception of the real world. We perceive our three-dimensional environment not only through our sense of sight but also through the nature of the sounds we hear. If these sounds are changed in some way, the effect on our perception of reality may be quite drastic. One might still be walking physically through a city and yet, through a manipulation of the sounds, have the feeling that one is in a forest.” (Janet Cardiff)
With her audio-visual installations Janet Cardiff has taken an artistic direction which is not covered by the classical definition of either sound art or spatial installation. Not only does she mix media, she also operates in a way that is interdisciplinary and involves video, radio drama, performance, installation and sculpture. In her audio and video works the Canadian artist examines audiovisual perception as well as the viewer’s illusion. Her works indicate narrative themes while the three dimensional sound track allows the viewer to become part of the events and the surrounding space is transformed into a place of acoustic and visual projection.