Artists: George Bures Miller, Janet Cardiff
Curator: Juliana Engberg
Customs House, 31 Alfred Street, SYDNEY, 2000
Artist Website

Artwork Description

This video walk will become, I’m sure, a must-do encounter for the people of, and visitors to, Sydney.

– Juliana Engberg, Artistic Director, 19th Biennale of Sydney

Immerse yourself in the engrossing world of fact and fiction as artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller lead you on a twilight video walk around The Rocks.

Experienced on a smart phone or mobile device, The City of Forking Paths leads people on a fictional journey through physical surrounds at dusk. Starting at Customs House in Circular Quay, the work weaves a trail through The Rocks.

Against the backdrop of real streets, the artists invent fictional scenarios and incidents for users to discover along the way. Guided by the voice of Janet Cardiff, familiar streets, made mystical at dusk, become the backdrop for an unfolding narrative of memory, displacement and desire.

The title is an homage to Jorges Luis Borges’ story, The Garden of Forking Paths, a tale that uses the genre of a spy story to uncover questions of time and loss.


Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are internationally renowned for their distinctive and innovative body of works comprising of multimedia audio installations and site-specific walks.

Experience The City of Forking Paths

To experience the artwork, users can download the artwork on their personal Android or Apple devices. This app is GPS-activated and time-locked and will only function from Customs House after dusk.

This app is over 1.8GB in size. Please be advised that downloading this app may take up to an hour or more over a standard ADSL2+ secure wifi connection but this may vary depending on the speed of your internet connection. Due to the large size of this app, we recommend that you download it before arriving at Customs House. It could be deleted from your mobile device after use.

The duration of the walk is just over 1 hour and users will require their own headphones.

For those unable to access this app, devices pre-loaded with this artwork are available to loan by appointment only. Please email to register your interest.

Before you take the walk

This artwork promises to be an unusual experience and unlike any artwork you’ve seen before. Here are some tips for people ready to take the walk:

  • Users must be 18 years and over unless accompanied by an adult.
  • The walk is not suitable for children under 12 years.
  • This walk is intended for individual use and groups of people will be encouraged to begin the walk at staggered intervals. If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of being in quiet parts of The Rocks at night, please do not attempt the walk alone.
  • The wearing of comfortable shoes is recommended as the route involves steep staircases and uneven surfaces in low light.
  • Visitors are advised that the piece may provoke feelings of distraction and disorientation. Please be aware of your surroundings as you do this video walk

To begin downloading the app, click on either of the following links:

Download for Android
Android™ 2.2 and above
1.7 GB

Download for iPhone
iPod touch 4, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPod touch 5
iOS 6.1 or later
1.8 GB


The City of Sydney has committed to commission one major artwork from each of the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Biennale of Sydney exhibitions.

The City of Forking Paths was commissioned by the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, curated by Julianna Engberg.

This is the first City of Sydney legacy artwork that will remain in Sydney as a permanent legacy.

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