Performing in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, 2015. (Photo by Lara Torres)


John Kannenberg is a multimedia artist, curator, writer, and researcher who creates quietly reflective work investigating the sonic geography of museums, the psychology of collection, the human experience of time, and sounds as cultural objects. His art practice emphasises process, creating and breaking rules for the work's realisation in ways that blur the boundaries between intention and accident. His work has been presented across the globe, including appearances at Tate Modern and the White Cube gallery in London, the ZKM Medienmuseum in Karlsruhe, Cairo's 100Live electronic music festival, the festival in Amsterdam, the First Glance video art festival in Tripoli, the Switch ON Festival in Kuala Lumpur, and Neighborhood Public Radio's American Life project for the Whitney Biennial (duetting with Glenn Bach).

In his current role as Director and Chief Curator of The Museum of Portable Sound, John has founded an institution that researches the collection, curation, and display of sound as a museological object while critiquing conventional museum practices and industry-imposed limitations on the digital distribution of sound. His work as an independent curator has included exhibitions for radio, online and physical venues including the Herskovits Library of African Studies in Chicago, the ZKM Medienmuseum, the Biennale of Electronic Arts in Perth, London's ResonanceFM art radio station, the Version Festival in Chicago, and the Jean Paul Slusser Gallery at the University of Michigan, as well as a display of ancient Egyptian soundmaking objects for the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology in Ann Arbor. He has been an invited speaker on the topic of the sonic experience of museums at London's National Gallery, John Cabot University in Rome, the Royal College of Art in London, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the University of Brighton, the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead, the University of Michigan Museum Studies Program, and the University of Leicester Museum Studies Program. He has also been awarded the 2017 Science Museum Group Journal Writing Prize for his upcoming article about sounds as museological objects of culture.

As a composer, John's graphic notation work has been published in Theresa Sauer's comprehensive survey of post-Cageian graphic scores Notations 21 and performed by Manchester, UK's Chiasmus Ensemble. His drawings of the sounds inside museums have been published in Manifest Gallery's international drawing annual exhibition-in-print INDA10. Recordings of his sound works have been released by a variety of international record labels including Flaming Pines, Entr'acte, 3LEAVES, and Crouton. From 2002–2015, John served as the creator, designer, and curator of, a record label and interdisciplinary digital art space presenting works by a diverse collection of musicians and sound artists from around the globe.

 His writings concerning the philosophical and poetic connections between sound, time, memory, collection, and museums can be found at his blog, Phonomnesis