Kinokologue 1: sonic specimen – Review

Kinokologue 1 is an installation by Kinokophone. Kinokophone is a sound and storytelling collective, producing work for installations, sound for documentary films, ethnographic research, oral history projects and anything else they think is interesting and fun! Through working on so many projects, they have amassed a large collection of recordings. Many of the recordings are used in a particular project, while others remain stored forever on stacks of hard drives, waiting to be heard… So Kinokophone started to imagine how they could possibly go about creating an interactive physical archive of all these sounds, so that other people could explore and enjoy them. This is where the idea for Kinokolouge came about and with funding provided by the Cornerhouse Micro Commissions and support from the Paul Hamlyn foundation, they could begin to experiment with their sonic specimen…


The installation features five different sonic specimen boxes, each of which enables a different way of exploring the various sounds contained within them. One of them features work created by embroidery artist, Akiko Yanagimoto. Kinokophone sent her five sounds, without telling her the sources of the sounds. She then responded to each of these sounds by creating embroidery works which were then layered within a box connected to headphone jacks. Another box is a set of small drawers containing sounds that fit under the theme of nature. When a visitor opens the drawer, she or he is invited to “excite the sonic specimen” by pressing a button. Other boxes explore the various possibilities for describing or systematically categorising a sound. One box invites visitors to list their own category/description of the uncategorised specimen inside the specimen box and another uses a set of wooden volvelles to reveal different words while one listens to a single sound source. Another box of sound spores enables listeners to adjust the volume on four sounds playing simultaneously, creating various combinations with which to experiment. In short, Kinokologue 1 experiments with new methods for presenting sound collections through exploring Kinokophone’s growing archive of recordings. The installation attempts to address the associations between the initial motivation in recording a sound and its value as an individual memory. The work explores the challenges of categorisation and interpretation when making public collections.


The preview evening for Kinokolouge was held on the same night as the one year anniversary of Kinokophone’s listening event, Kinokophonography. This evening features programmes of recordings sent in from around the world in response to Kinokophone’s open call. The evenings feature an eclectic selections of sounds, many that listeners may not have the chance to hear anywhere else. The event was created by Kinokophone in order to further their practice and research as field recordists and sound oriented artists by creating an interdisciplinary platform for sharing work and ideas. Since it’s launch last autumn at MadLab, the event has gathered international attention and support from leading sound recordists and research academics. It is their hope that running the event has helped to cultivate a forum through which recordists can inspire, intrigue and reveal, sprinkling sound spores into far reaches of the mycelium and inciting the creation of further recordings.

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