Christopher Janney

Christopher Janney’s site-specific works facilitate interactions between people and their environment, creating in the urban landscape a sense of spontaneity.


Christopher Janney (SM’78) began “painting with sound” in 1976, combining architecture and jazz at MIT’s Environmental Art program under artist Otto Piene. Janney’s thesis “Soundstair” initiated the “Urban Musical Instruments” series whose large-scale installations — often using interactive electronics, colored glass, and sound — are now found in subways, airports, and other spaces around the United States and Europe. These “performance sculptures” give physical form to sound and movement while simultaneously making architecture more responsive and “alive.”

For more than thirty years, Christopher Janney has created numerous permanent interactive sound/light installations and performances, including Harmonic Convergence at the Miami Airport, REACH:NY at the 34th St. subway stop in New York, HeartBeat:mb with Sara Rudner and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Soundstair, which was most recently installed at the Boston Children’s Hospital. He is the founder of the multi-media studio PhenomenArts, Inc. 

Learn more about Christopher Janney.

This residency is presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology.


Past Event

Artist Lecture and Demonstration
March 20, 2013

In the Media

Design Boom: Harmonic Convergence

NPR: Christopher Janney, Sculpting Sound

Huffington Post: Reach New York: An Urban Musical Instrument



Blog: Christopher Janney