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Janet Cardiff at Luhring Agustine


On view:

Cardiff and Miller’s kinetic installation The Marionette Maker (2014) comprises a full-scale vintage caravan that houses myriad characters in a haunting environment. The interior of the trailer reveals the fantastic world of a marionette maker (a marionette himself), who is hunched over a desk drafting designs. Viewers are able to walk around the camper and peer inside the puppets’ domain, as well as sit in theater seats adjacent to the trailer to watch the characters perform an opera. Recordings of forests and rainstorms emanate from rotating speakers above the trailer, overlapping with music made by the robotically controlled marionettes positioned throughout the installation. The audio elements continually intermingle, further enveloping the audience into the immersive, voyeuristic environment.

Cardiff and Miller’s interactive Experiment in F# Minor (2013), on view in the second gallery, is an instrument of the artists’ creation, consisting of an array of speakers on a large table. As the viewer approaches it, his or her shadow triggers light sensors, causing individual speakers to emit diverse recordings in the key of F# minor. As the visitors’ movement “plays” the piece, their motion creates a unique musical arrangement, synthesizing tracks and creating unforeseen compositions that at times results in a cacophony of sound.