John Kannenberg is an artist, researcher, and writer.
He is the Director of The Museum of Portable Sound.

Museum Sound Maps

Museum Sound Maps

As part of my artistic practice, one of my ongoing projects since 2010 has been the creation of detailed sound maps of specific museums. Rather than follow the now-ubiquitous online click-to-listen format of Google Maps API-based sound maps (which foreground a visual interface rather than an auditory experience, and as such are, in my view, antithetical to the very notion of a practice calling itself sound mapping), my museum sound maps are constructed as linear sound compositions closer in form to the sound maps of rivers made by sound artist and composer Annea Lockwood. My maps are meant to be experienced as pure audio, as the results of a process of personal artistic cartography, instead of an online archive of sounds attached to visual maps. As my sound mapping practice has evolved, I have allowed myself to become more of an audible presence or character within the maps, performing my own auditory relationship with each museum space. 

Two of the completed maps have been released on CD: A Sound Map of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo and A Sound Map of the Art Institute of Chicago. I have composed further maps of the British Library Sound Archive, Tate Modern, and the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum, all of which can be heard excerpted below and will eventually be released in their entirety. Maps of the Pitt Rivers museum at Oxford and the Science Museum in London are currently in progress.

Gallery Whispers and Lunch in the Cafe: Mapping Museums Through Their Sounds, featured  on Hyperallergic.com

The Museum of Portable Sound

The Museum of Portable Sound

Museum Listening Sketches

Museum Listening Sketches