P. S. 1 Walk


P. S. 1 Walk


Audio walk

10 minutes, 38 seconds

Curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev for Janet Cardiff. A Survey of Works Including Collaborations with George Bures Miller.

Cardiff & Miller

George and I produced this walk during the installation of a major survey show at the P. S. 1 Contemporary Art Museum in New York just after 9 / 11. It was a very strange, intense time. The walk was a reflection of the various things that happened while we were installing the show, like meeting a jazz singer, Queen Ester, who I hired to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, overhearing conversations in restaurants, and recording the P. S. 1 guards doing their special in-house language and their rapping as they waited out the long hours in the museum hallways. But one very strange element was a message left on Carolyn’s home phone machine that became a kind of central keystone for the piece. Definitely a wrong number.

sfx of recording from Carolyn’s machine: ‘Hey Bitch … you better stop messin’ with my husband or I’ll kill you.’ … sfx of scary music as you go downstairs

Janet Let’s look out this window. There he is … getting out of his car. Now he’s coming towards the building. Let’s keep going down the stairs … and down again.

Janet Now go behind the stairs. Here it is. This is the place. Sit down and wait … Close your eyes.

sound of fly then crickets fade up

Janet It was night. I was walking from the barn to the house. I remember seeing giant fireflies bobbing up and down in the darkness of the fields. I stopped and watched and realized it was only the head lamps on the immigrant workers as they picked worms from the dirt. Why am I thinking of this right now …

sound of man walking into stairwell above you. slowly coming downstairs towards you then footsteps come right up beside you

Janet Shssh. whispering Let’s go. To the right then up the stairs… breathing hard … cross over the stairwell and go to the right, out into the hallway. Walk straight ahead, down the hallway …

Janet This morning there was a group of about 20 men standing outside the building. As I walked through them my heart started to beat really fast. I held my breath and tried to concentrate on moving my legs, one step after another while ignoring the men as if they were all invisible.

Related Publications

Janet Cardiff
The Walk Book

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