Listening to Museums: Sound mapping towards a sonically inclusive museology
My article, Listening to Museums: Sound mapping towards a sonically inclusive museology, was published in issue 20 of the University of Leicester Museum Studies Department's journal, Museological Review.
Read the abstract below and download the entire issue as a PDF.
The multisensory experience of museums is becoming increasingly scrutinised, with many museums beginning to include participatory activities based on their own soundscapes in their public engagement programs. What are some possible strategies for engaging with a museum soundscape? Could listening to museums lead to the development of a sonically inclusive museology? In my artistic practice, I make sound maps of museums including the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern in London, and The Pitt Rivers at Oxford. These sound maps are immersive audio tours juxtaposing sounds in new contexts like museum curators juxtapose objects in exhibitions. I also make blind listening sketches of museum soundscapes using an evolving lexicon of museum sound symbols. In this paper, I contextualise my museum sound mapping strategies within practices of sound arts and other mapping practices, and provide documentation of my results, including sound compositions and drawings that map my acts of listening to museum soundscapes.