Annie McKinnon



Annie McKinnon is a creative technologist, sound designer and composer. She completed a B Sound and Music Design at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in 2012. Soon after she was handpicked as a research assistant at the Interactivation Studio, UTS. Annie worked under the supervision of world-renowned interaction design expert, Dr Bert Bongers. This position equipped Annie with a deep appreciation of the body’s senses and how they inform peoples everyday interactions in space and time. This understanding informs her practice which involves the use of digital sensors and the development of interactive experiences. Her portfolio includes expertise in interactive national touring exhibitions, gestural interfaces to support communication, interactive devices for physical rehabilitation, immersive soundscapes for public art installations, instrument design, rapid prototyping for app development, multi-modal interactions, and mesh networking devices. She is sought-after in the field of interaction and sound design. She lives and works in Sydney as a freelance artist, designer and educator. She is currently a resident artist at Parramatta Artist Studios. In 2015, Annie was an ArtStart recipient (Australia Council for the Arts). She has been commissioned by DLUX Media Arts, Think+DO Tank Foundation, City of Parramatta, Orana Arts, UTS, MAKEbeLIVE Productions, and Synergy Percussion. Her recent collaborations have been with George Khut, Jane Stratton, Bree van Reyk, Anna McMahon, Holly Austin, Anaisa Franco (Brazil), and Andreas Siagian (Indonesia). Annie is also a recognised sound designer and composer and was named as one of Synergy Percussions 40Under40 composers in 2016.



Scanlines - Interview with Annie McKinnon


In 2017 Annie was an artist in residence at Parramatta Artists Studios. These photographs were taken as part of the residency by Alex Wisser.


HABITATUAL: Our everyday spaces are full of sounds that are habitual and constant. We don't always realise they are there. 'Habitatual' puts a spotlight on the sonic space at Parramatta Artists Studios. By touching the large copper circuit boards, you can play 'Habitatual' and become part of the surrounding soundscape. You become the amplifier of your own surroundings. 

Work for the Think+DO Tank Foundation as digital producer.

Think+DO Tank Foundation Annual Report designed by Cabinet of Wonder with Annie McKinnon

Pass It On - designed by Annie McKinnon, commissioned by the Think+DO Tank Foundation. Featured in 'The Motion Room' Exhibition at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.

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Carpet Design by Annie McKinnon at 'Lost In Books'

Furniture making and voluntary work at 'Lost In Books'.

Pass it on is a  broad exploration into how people who live and work in the 2168 postcode area (Miller/Green Valley/Liverpool) might use interactive objects and interfaces to connect with one another, to exchange perspectives, and to inform local decision-making in useful ways. Commissioned by Think+Do Tank Foundation, The Motion Room. Funded by the Australia Council of the Arts. This is a video series made whilst Annie was on residency in Liverpool researching 'Pass It On' possibilities.

The Garden of a Thousand Years is an immersive and interactive artwork created by artists Anna McMahon and Annie McKinnon. Working with the Parramatta community, the artists will create over 1000 hanging planters out of recycled plastics housing a range of edible and lifestyle plants.  A trail will be created through the hanging garden with a number of points of interaction. This project is grounded in the theory of upcycling for future environmental sustainability and is supported through the NSW Environment Protection Authority. Just one plastic soft drink bottle can take up to one thousand years to break down in landfill.  Using these throw away materials as housing for new plants means that rather than discarding the plastic to landfill, it is filled with new life - the plant cleaning the air and creating joy, food and better living conditions for its owner.

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#FASHTECH A collaborative community project and exhibition at Orange Regional Gallery which brings together fashion, design, art and technology to create wearable tech-art. Participants mix materials and technology to design and create garments and accessories; combine clothing, fabric, cardboard and objects whilst learning new digital skills. They will use creative thinking and problem solving while making light, sound and interactive components for their designs. Facilitated by Annie McKinnon throughout 2017.


'Thinking Machines' was co-created and facilitated by Annie McKinnon in Coonabarabran, 2357, as part of a dLUX MediaArts, dLab residency throughout 2016 . The dLab National Program reaches out to young people in regional and rural Australia by bringing new learning experiences in science and art through regular hands-on workshops delivered by a dynamic team of creative practitioners.

A video series called 'Sounds + Interaction : Making 100 things that you love' made during 2015 as part of an ArtStart Australia Council for the Arts grant.


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An example of the Rehabilitation Tile software developed by Annie McKinnon for the Rehabilitation Tiles mentioned in this article, 'Computer games help stroke survivors get back on their feet'.


Footage of 7mm Pitch Project Ramania and Dew Mountain - by UTS Animation, Annie McKinnon and Bruce Ramus

Here are some examples of UTS Animation students work. These animations are samples of what were manipulated accross a 3m x 15m screen by an interactive software and puppet system developed by Annie McKinnon.

The Heart of the City is an interactive public art sculpture that pulses light according to the heart beat of the people. The sculpture invites several people to sit and interactive with it.
The piece aims to bring closer the heartbeat of the citizens by creating a heart to the city where people could hang out and experience an expansion of their own heart shared with others.

Work in collaboration with Aravinth Panchadcharam, Annie McKinnon, Tank Thunderbird and Heloisa Antonia Franco. 
Commissioned by VIVID SYDNEY 2015 and hosted by UTS Creativity and Cognition Studios in Sydney.

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Sand Beats is an interactive installation of Wendy Neill (designer and installation artist), Annie McKinnon (sound/music/design researcher and artist) and Bert Bongers (Interactivation Studio leader), using real time microscopic images of kinetically animated sand. The installation explores sand and levels of pollution using samples taken from various locations around Sydney Harbour.

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Scanlines collects together information about Australian media artists, curators, organisations and events since the 1960s. The database is an ongoing and evolving resource dedicated to information pertinent to artists, works and events that have Australia-wide and international significance.

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Density is an interactive composition. The performers activate a computer program that launches a series of projections that make up a randomly generated graphical score. Every 10 seconds each performer moves to their right to play the next section of the piece. They do this four times throughout the performance. The intent behind Density is to explore texture and timbre. It is an exercise in active listening, the performers communicating and coordinating with one another, all to achieve some cohesion amidst the madness of the unknown.


Ruby's Wish: Ruby is seven and three quarters.  She is everything a little girl should be: brazen, hopeful and bright-eyed. But unlike other little girls, Ruby is sick and spends most of her time in hospital. Through an unlikely friendship with a tongue tied clown doctor called Dr Audio-Yo!, Ruby’s hospital room is transformed into a wonderland of mop monsters and bed caves, where anything can happen and wishes really do come true! Ruby’s Wish combines beautiful puppets, sensational clowning, original music and a magical beat boxing costume into a heart-warming, visual spectacular that will enchant children and parents alike. Presented by Sydney Opera House with MAKEbeLIVE Productions and Cubbyhouse Co. 

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Synergy Percussion perform at 'Check My Machine' 107 Projects Redfern, with Annie McKinnon's interactive drum lights

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Ideas and observations about our interactions with the world. Drawn with white pen on black paper.