Go back to article: Towards a more sonically inclusive museum practice: a new definition of the ‘sound object’

Figure 1

Visitors map of the layout of the Museum of Portable Sound

Map of the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Museum of Portable Sound, 2016

This map demonstrates the classification system that has been applied to the sound objects on display in my experimental curatorial project, which attempts to display sound recordings as objects of culture. The MOPS permanent collection is divided into 21 themed galleries containing a total of 117 sound objects with a total duration of over three hours – these sound objects are digital audio files that are stored on a single mobile phone. The visual component of the map serves as an infographic, displaying the relative amounts of objects within each of the digital gallery spaces. Visitors to MOPS arrange a time and place to meet with me; I bring the mobile phone and a printed Gallery Guide containing didactic texts and object label information, and we sit together while they visit; visits inevitably end in a lengthy discussion about sound, memory, place and nostalgia. MOPS is not available as a downloadable app – its somewhat convoluted and absurd visiting policy is intended as a statement on museum practice and digital audio distribution, as well as a means by which to encourage close listening of the material. For more information, visit http://museumofportablesound.com