Forest Walk


Forest Walk


Audio walk

12 minutes

Janet Cardiff

I was doing a residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, experimenting with some various technologies, and I created what became my first audio walk. It didn’t have very good instructions and the quality of my mixing was terrible since it was mixed on a 4-track cassette deck, but the work really inspired me and changed my thinking about art. Probably only 10 people heard it at the time, but it was the prototype for all the walks that followed. When I listen to it now, I can appreciate the freshness and looseness, even with all of the bad editing.

Janet Go towards the brownish green garbage can. Then there’s a trail off to your right. Take the trail, it’s overgrown a bit. There’s an eaten-out dead tree. Looks like ants.

sfx of footsteps then stopping then hand brushing tree bark. walking starts again.

Janet Walk up the path. I haven’t been in this forest for a long time … it’s good to get away from the centre, from the building noises, to idyllic nature. Ok, there’s a fork in the path, take the trail to the right.

sfx of walking, stopping, bending down.

Janet There’s some paint on the stone, looks like … maybe its … no it is paint. I wonder what it’s doing there. Some artist painting the sunset I guess.

sfx of walking again, sfx crows loud, train horn in background.

Janet It’s so beautiful in the forest at night … it’s kind of spooky though.

Jvox prerecorded I just want to be with you.

Man’s voice It’s so beautiful in the forest at night … it’s kind of spooky though.

Jvox We’ve had wonderful times.

Man’s voice It’s my fucked personality, blame it on me.

Related Publications

Janet Cardiff
The Walk Book

Thyssen_Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna in collaboration with Public Art Fund, New York