Artists typically are skilled in various forms of art but chose a specific medium in which they specialize. Cross medium art isn’t particularly uncommon, but when that medium is an entirely different sense, the cross-over is rather uncommon. Janet Cardiff does specifically that with her art, she crosses-over both visual and audio mediums to produce her works.
Originally, I had thought that it would be possible to fully experience her art by just viewing some images and getting my impression of them, but the Canadian native’s art work is meant to be experienced in both mediums simultaneously.
I had said earlier in the board discussions on Janet Cardiff that I appreciate her, whether intentional or not, embrace of mathematics. The sound that is played is deigned to fill a three dimensional space in the same way a sculpture would. Clearly, there is nothing visual is spot a sculpture would be, but rather it is the spot for the viewer to experience the art. The mathematics of a 40 piece surround sound experience is quite advanced as you would have to have a forty point polygon with specific spacing to a focus around each point. The speakers would need to be placed exactly at those points in reference to the original, and then the audio would have to be played simultaneously. Any significant deviation from this scheme would cause noticeable audio phasing. Experiencing Janet’s work was truly a treat this week.