Cardiff rip-off

I have just found something shocking and exciting at This is an audio tour company launched in 2001 (almost ten years after Cardiff’s first audio walk) that completely and totally rips off her ideas and presents them as “Soundwalks – audio tours for people who don’t normally take audio tours.”

This is why Cardiff’s audio walks cannot go on ad infinitum – they are TOO consumable and desirable – TOO close to consumable pop culture. Granted, art can be seen as being on the fringe of culture – so mainstream culture is bound to catch up sooner or later – but on the other hand, her work and maybe the work of a few others (Jeff Koons!) is so close that it starts to challenge what art is by doing what art is not supposed to do – that is to her work courts and seduces the viewer (like advertising and entertainment…) and the viewer stops being challenged to think.

These soundwalks take Cardiff’s audio walks to the next (hilarious) level: a “Da Vinci Code soundwalk, at the Louvre narrated by Jean Reno (think: Leon from The Professional). The sample audio starts with a recorded recording. It is (supposedly Audrey Tatou?) saying “Professor Langdon, Do not react to this message. you must follow my directions very closely… You are in grave danger…” It plunges you into intrigue and treats you like one of the characters, just like the audio Walks.

Then, the real Jean Reno introduces himself (I guess this is the downward trajectory of a movie career) as Captain Bezu Fache. He says, “Don’t go anywhere unless I say so. I am going to take you to a scene of a crime after all. Be one with me … Can you hear my footsteps? Good.” This is almost word for word like The Missing Voice (case study B), which takes place in in Jack the Ripper’s Spitalfields in London.

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