The Symmetry of Footsteps

Muenster Walk, 1997, by Janet Cardiff

I’ve always liked the idea of symmetry between art and life. Mathematicians look for it in equations. Physicists look for it in nature. Ever since I was introduced to the work of Janet Cardiff, I’ve listened for it in moments. I am always grateful for artists who are capable of making me associate and disassociate–sometimes miraculously at the same time. Cardiff has made me hear life in unexpected moments. Once, I returned from an interview to discover that I had accidentally recorded my movements afterward–the sound of my footsteps, my passage down a hall, my greeting to someone I didn’t know very well, my pouring of water, opening a door, walking up stairs. In these brilliantly connected yet isolated moments, common activities become otherwordly–the sound of a dishwasher, a flushing toilet, a clanking utensil, a drawer closing, a light changing, paper moving, a dish set. Mostly, though, Cardiff has made me love the feeling of hearing the symmetry of footsteps.

Turns out there is a blog and new book dedicated to visual moments like this–two bicoastal friends finding symmetry between everyday images and artworks. Love the idea. Check it out. [Huffington Post and Interview]

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1 Comment

  1. I love this idea – artistry where you don’t look for it. Thanks for posting this!


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