Whitney Johnson is an artist based in Chicago who uses sound to question relationships between bodies and minds. She composes, performs, and installs multi-channel sound from the viola, sine waves, Max/MSP, organ, synthesizers, vocalization, tape looping, and field recording.

Photo Credit Camille Blake 145 kopia

Photo by Camille Blake

Her latest recording, Sonescent (2022, Drag City), recreated the experience of 10 days of silent Vipassanā meditation in Joshua Tree, CA where she heard “the last minutes in the life of music.” Recent performance-installations FIAT (2023, Forecast Platform Berlin), The Tuning of the Elements (2023, Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago), Huizkol (2020, Lampo), and Fundamental 256 Hz (2019, Longform Editions) have considered the possibility of brainwave entrainment, an alternative healing technique using binaural beats to induce relaxed or energized mental states.

In tandem with her sound practice, she received her PhD in the sociology of sound from the University of Chicago in 2018 and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship on sound and technology in the Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University in Sweden in 2022. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sound and Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Lecturer in the Sound Arts and Industries MA program at Northwestern University.