Week 2: Janet Cardiff &George Miller by Mariory Jacobson


“boundaries between our technologies and ourselves continue to implode (collapse violently inwards); as we inexorably (impossible to prevent from happening) become creatures that we cannot even now imagine”

“[devices like discmans, videocams, and binaural sound equipment] embody the diffidence (uncertainty) of a global information culture both beguiled and betrayed by the promises of the cyber revolution (Kello n.d.).”

This sentence seems to carry a lot of heavy meaning but even after understanding the big words author’s statement seems to be quite hard to understand. From what I know, Lucas Kello’s definition  (Kello n.d.) of cyber revolutions is about new threats and dangers which require immediate intervention by the state, and this is because we live in a time of “global information culture”. I would assume the use of discmans, videocams and binaural sound equipment, which are devices used in her artwork suggests how these can be used to influence people’s way of thinking – which makes it a powerful tool.

“Sounds and dialogue become so authentic we find ourselves removing our headsets to distinguish actuality from invention.”

In Mural Lake, one of their works is an example of this. By featuring a movie theatre facing the visitors it puts them in the position as the viewer, and also “god-like” where he/she directly hovering above the miniature size theatre. With the added use of headphones to drown out any ambient noises from the place they were in, the viewers enter a different “actuality”, where narrator speaks to them in a way that sounds very personal.  think using Janet Cardiff’s soft and persuasive tone in the audio seems to bring out that part, and it plays out well with the clip The Muriel Lake Incident,1999 + AlterBahnof Video Walk, 2012. Her narration seems to be telling the audience how to think according to what she thinks, and this play around a person’s line of thought does make the installation quite immersive. And it really does help that a human element such as her voice brings a person to see things from another person’s point of view. In literal form I guess this would mean the idiom “speaking her mind” directly at you. This “binaural” technique that she uses sees to be a recurring theme in her other videos besides The Muriel Lake Incident,1999 & AlterBahnof Video Walk, 2012 which has been effective in influencing the way people think and behave.

The Muriel Lake Incident,1999 @3:42

Kello, Lucas. n.d. “The Meaning of Cyber Revolution.” MIT Press Journals. https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/ISEC_a_00138.

Author: Najiha

Always looking for something more.

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