John Kannenberg
London — United Kingdom
John Kannenberg creates quietly reflective work in image, sound, words, and performance that blurs the boundaries between intention and accident. His works investigate the psychogeography of museums and archives, the processes of making and observing art, the psychology of collection, and the human experience of time. John's work has been presented extensively worldwide including appearances at Gallery 400's 2013 Evening of Experimental Music in Chicago, the 2012 "Sound Art: Sound As A Medium Of Art" exhibition at the ZKM Museum in Karlsruhe, the 2011 Notations.NL festival in Amsterdam, the 2010 100 LIVE festival in Cairo, and the 2009 Switch ON Festival in Kuala Lumpur. His hour-long suite of composed field recordings "A Sound Map of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo" was presented as an installation at the 2011 International Conference on Acoustic Ecology in Corfu, Greece. 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's Chiasmus Ensemble, while his site-specific video score "Collections: UMMA" has been performed at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Recordings of his sound works have been released by a variety of international record labels and websites including Entr'acte, 3LEAVES, Crouton, Disquiet, Grain of Sound, Furthernoise, Flaming Pines and Why Not LTD. John was also a contributor to and occasional guest host of Philip von Zweck's "Something Else" programme of experimental music and radio art on WLUW 88.7FM in Chicago from 2000-2009. John's work as a curator has included exhibitions for radio, online and physical venues including the Herskovits Library of African Studies in Chicago, the ZKM Medienmuseum in Karlsruhe, the Biennale of Electronic Arts in Perth, ResonanceFM, and the Jean Paul Slusser Gallery at the University of Michigan. He has also curated a display of ancient Egyptian soundmaking objects for the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology in Ann Arbor and lectured on the sonic experience of museums with Dr. T. G. Wilfong during the 2011-2012 University of Michigan Museum Studies Cross Currents series. John moved to London in 2014 to begin a PhD course in sound art and museum studies with the University of Arts London's CRiSAP research centre. Since April 2002, John has served as the creator, designer and curator of, an experimental record label and interdisciplinary digital art space, presenting works by a diverse collection of international artists. His writings concerning the philosophical connections between sound, time, memory, collection, and museums can be found at
Description of work with field recording
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by museums — not just as places of looking and learning, but also of listening. To me, the soundscape of a museum resonates with the active sounds of history, the nexus between a museum’s contemporary sonic world and the historical objects housed within it. In my view, these sounds exist in the realms between documentary and drama, awe and aura. One of my ongoing projects is a series of psychogeographic sound maps of museums. After collecting several hours of field recordings for each museum location, the sounds are then edited down to a highly composed, but unprocessed, impossible journey that chronicles my interactions with and observations of each museum's public spaces.
Listen to Sound Map of the Egyptian Museum (excerpt)