the beginning of chap 2

Classification of Cardiff and Miller’s work has been elusive. Granted, Cardiff’s art practice has ranged widely from printmaking, performance, multimedia installation, and Internet projects, but the inability to pin a tag on her practice goes beyond the contemporary international art fair syndrome of creating large-scale installations around the world. The confusion seems to arise from not only a puzzling blank about Cardiff and Miller’s Canadian-ness (and thus their exposure to particular kinds of art and sound while growing up and in art school) but also from the conflicting artist’s statements, that their work is really about sound. This seems strange in face of the overwhelming evidence that the work is not so much about sound, space, technology, as much as those concerns are subsumed in an intense focus on creating a relationship with the viewer. The actual desire to connect with the viewer is rendered transparent when a lineage is traced from the audio Walks to the theater installations. Furthermore, Cardiff  and Miller tread into a world of manipulation and maneuvering, relying upon an age-old sadomasochistic contract, which further complicates the relationship of the viewer to the work.

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