Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller – Alter Bahnhof Video Walk

Alter Bahnhof Video Walk; 2012; Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
“Here is an attempt to document our 2nd piece made for dOCUMENTA (13). Viewers are given an ipod and headphones and asked to follow the prerecorded video through the old train station in Kassel. The overlapping realities lead to a strange, perceptive confusion in the viewers brain. Hard to document and harder to explain. We only present the recorded audio here, but when doing the walk the real sounds mix with the recorded adding another level of confusion as to what is real and what is fiction. Wear headphones to get the full effect of the original binaural recording.”
This is a 6 minute clip of a 26 minute piece.


The Alter Bahnhof Video Walk was designed for the old train station in Kassel, Germany as part of dOCUMENTA (13). Participants are able to borrow an iPod and headphones from a check-out booth. They are then directed by Cardiff and Miller through the station. An alternate world opens up where reality and fiction meld in a disturbing and uncanny way that has been referred to as “physical cinema”. The participants watch things unfold on the small screen but feel the presence of those events deeply because of being situated in the exact location where the footage was shot. As they follow the moving images (and try to frame them as if they were the camera operator) a strange confusion of realities occurs. In this confusion, the past and present conflate and Cardiff and Miller guide us through a meditation on memory and reveal the poignant moments of being alive and present.

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