Kinetic and Sound Sculptures

1967

Kaleidophonic Dog

Kaleidophonic Dog

S 1967–1
wood, leather, metal, computer (first punched tape)
pneumatic system, whistles, percussion
190 x 61 x 56 cm

Los Angeles County Museum, Gift of the Kleiner Foundation

VIDEO

Tippu's Tiger

Tipu’s Tiger

The motif goes back to the sculpture Tipu’s Tiger in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. There, however, a white man lies on his back with the tiger on top of him.

“I had […] been influenced by the old automatic band organs, playerpianos and other automatic instruments. I saw these machines in a museum and became fascinated with the inherent mechanical sound.” (S. v. H. in: Interview with the magazine MIZUE, Tokyo 1973; reprinted in: Stephan von Huene, Split Tongue, Texts & Interviews, München 2012, p. 55)

lochstreifen

punch tapes

“The sculpture is controlled by a punched tape and a pneumatic mechanism that moves the dog figure and plays the accompanying sound. The controlling continuous loops work in a phase pattern. Wood, leather, and metal were the main materials used. This and all the following sculptures function completely automatically.” (S. v. H. in: exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 185)

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-3–4.)

The Getty Talk KDog

The Getty Talk, KDog

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1967

Tap Dancer

Tapdancer

S 1967–2
wood, leathercovered foam rubber, computer (formerly punched tape)
pneumatic system, percussion
120 x 90 x 75 cm

Collection Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Hope, Idaho

VIDEO

Innenansicht

interior view

“Originally, sound and movement were programmed on a perforated strip, again not unlike a player piano. Tap Dancer was not intended to imitate human gestures, nor to be a dancing puppet à la E. T. A. Hoffmann. […] It was not meant to perform the kind of music that is normally performed with the hands, mouth, or feet. It was intended as a non-performance of music and movement.” (S. v. H. in: exhib. cat. Für Augen und Ohren. Von der Spieluhr zum akustischen Environment, Berlin 1980, p. 142)

Tap Dancer consists of two shortened but not cut off legs that seem to move mechanically. […] The sound they make is produced by blocks of wood inside the box. The movements […] are made by pneumatic equipment similar to that once used for automatic pianos. […] Unlike music machines and automatic pianos, the sculpture plays all by itself.” (S. v. H. in: exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 186)

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-6)

The Getty Talk Tapdancer

The Getty Talk, Tapdancer

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1967

Washboard Band

Washboard Band

S 1967–3
two-piece construction made of wood, washboard, cymbal, gong,
cowbell, harmonium, blowers, wood, leather, metal parts,
computer (formerly punched tape), pneumatic system
220 x 77 x 44 cm

Private collection Düsseldorf

VIDEO

Washboard Band

detail

In the US, in the 1930s, in order to earn money, unemployed Blacks would travel around the country working as one-man bands.

“I speculated […], that I woud build a machine that would not try to play music written for performance but would in some way play itself and retain the mechanical sound as an inherent element. I wanted to remove the live performer in favor of an anonymous performance.” (S. v. H. in: Interview with the magazine MIZUE, Tokyo 1973; reprinted in: Stephan von Huene, Split Tongue, Texts & Interviews, München 2012, p. 55)

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-7)

The Getty Talk: Washboard Band

The Getty Talk, Washboard Band

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1967

Rosebud Annunciator

Rosebud Annunciator

S 1967-4
three-piece wooden structure on base, leather, drum,
cymbal, tongues, xylophone, blowers, lights, computer
214 x 244 x 122 cm

Museum Ludwig, Köln
(formerly collection Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Hope, Idaho)

VIDEO

Rose Skizze

scetch

“[Rosebud Annunciator] plays like an automatic piano […]. The patterns of sounds come from the music and form a collage with the aid of photocopies, scissors, and tape. They are programmed, but not controlled, and are not the result of pure coincidence, but more of the hope for a happy fate. […] The optical appearance of the rosebud is based on the architecture of the houses where I lived in Los Angeles. In the past, violins, cellos, and other instruments were custom-built to the rooms they were played in, and made in harmony with the furniture.” (S. v. H. in: exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 188/8)

Detail

Detail

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-8)

The Getty Talk Rosebud Annunciator

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1969 – 70

Totem Tones

Group of five sculptures
wood, organ pipes, metal parts, blower, light, computer

Totem Tone III

Totem Tone III

S 1969–1.3
Totem Tone III
239 x 90 x 50 cm
Petra von Huene, Hamburg

Even very early, Stephan von Huene was interested in the culture of the Northwest Coast Natives and their carved totem poles, which are used in the context of traditional ceremonies. Masks and the heads and bodies of animals are sculpted from wood and piled up one on top of the next. Von Huene’s organ pipe sculptures share an affinity with these totems poles, which strive into the heights, but in his works, and through the tones, these mute, powerfully expressive totems enter into a sonorous partnership that is authenticated through alliteration; this is related to von Huene’s concept of sculpture as a gesamtkunstwerk.

VIDEO

Totem Tone IV

Totem Tone IV

S 1969–1.4
Totem Tone IV
290 x 92 x 50 cm
Hamburger Kunsthalle, donation in honor of Hubertus Gaßner

The tone is modified by a movable upper lip, a flap over the upper pipe and a hole in the side of the smaller pipe. The work plays either once for 3 minutes or continuously.

Totem Tone V

Totem Tone V

S 1969–1.5
Totem Tone V
236 x 92 x 50 cm
Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D. C.
(formerly collection Sam Francis, Santa Monica, Kalifornien)

Totem Tone I

Totem Tone I

S 1969–1.1
Totem Tone I
230 x 92 x 50 cm
Collection George Wanlass, Los Angeles

The tone modification is controlled by the length of the pipe. Dimensions and proportions correspond to the pitch levels. The small pipes consist of a multidirectional series of tones, which can be played in any desired succession.

Totem Tone II

Totem Tone II

S 1969–1.2
Totem Tone II
240 x 92 x 50 cm
collection William M. Roth, San Francisco
(permanent loan in the Oakland Museum, Oakland, Kalifornien)

The sculpture exploits two mechanisms in order to alter tones and pitches, namely a movable flap and a movable upper lip.

Totem Tone Detail

Totem Tone V, detail

Tones and pitches are altered by movable lips on both pipes. These upper lips move independently of one another, but always produce interrelated acoustic and tonal effects. This is explained by the basically equal tuning of the pipes, and the fact that the upper lips play only tones that come from the structure of the pipes.

“With Totem Tones, the external appearance is a function not just of the architecture of the housing, but of the instrumental architecture as well, of the organ pipes themselves. The title Totem Tones also alludes to Helmholtz, the author of “On the Sensation of Tones”, and finally to Dayton Miller, who produced synthetic vowels using organ pipes. I have built five Totem Tones. Each consists of three organ pipes, which produce tones through the air stream of vacuum cleaner motors. Each pipe changes its tone in a different way: first, through a movable upper lip that opens and closes the mouth of the pipe; secondly, by closing the end of the pipe with a lid; and thirdly, through a hole in the side of the pipe that is opened and closed with a vent. Each pipe alters its tone together with its partners, by competing for a no longer entirely sufficient portion of air. Other tone alterations result simply from the combination or non-combination of tones that sound simultaneously or concurrently. The entire work is programmed by two opaque strips and photocells. Sound and environment are as dependent upon one another as music and performance, therefore I did not want to make them even more dependent on one another.” (S. v. H. in: Für Augen und Ohren. Von der Spieluhr zum akustischen Environment, exhibition catalog, Berlin 1980, p. 143.)

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-9.)

The Getty Talk Totem Tone

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1974/76

Glass Pipes

Glass Pipes

S 1974–1
two pieces, glass, metal, wood box,
fan, mechanics, glass housing
each 150 x 30 x 30 cm

Petra von Huene, Hamburg
(For technical reasons,
the work can no longer be reconstructed.)

VIDEO

“My sculpture Glass Pipes parallels the concerns of Leo Tolstoy in his story of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilyich’ and also the experience of Edvard Munch in his painting ‘The Scream’. Glass Pipes is a musical version of just such a scream.”

Glaspfeife

detail

Glass Pipes consists of two glass tubes, of equal length, which I constructed to play like organ pipes. In cross section the tubes form an ‘O’. Seen in length they form an extended ‘O’ or ‘OOOOOO’. […] The two glass pipes play simultaneously, sometimes screaming, sometimes growling, sometimes humming, and sometimes just breathing. The acoustic activity of combination sounds produces a variety of textures, densities, and spatial dimensions within the sound.

The transparency of the pipes is not arbitrary but indicates the sculptural direction toward nothing. The more perfectly we can see-through (be enlightened) the less our vision is obstructed. Following this orientation, to see everything is then to see nothing.” (S. v. H., The Glass Pipe Enterprise 1976/1987/1993, in: exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 229/231)

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-27.

The Getty Talk: Glass Pipes

The Getty Talk, Glass Pipes

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1974/1992

Drum

Drum II

Drum II

S 1974–2
Drum I, 1974/75
plexiglass drum with 32 hammers, electro-pneumatic system
(photoelectric programmer)
Collaboration with composer James Tenney.
There are programmed 3 pieces:
Wake for Charles Ives, Popcorn Effect, Tempest

Ø 160 cm, Höhe 91,5 cm
destroyed / merged into Drum II (S 1992–1)

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum Foundation, Duisburg

Following a number of technical alterations, Drum is today equipped with a sensor that triggers its playing through the viewer’s approach. It can however also be turned on manually. The entire technical equipment is concealed in the base beneath the drum itself.

VIDEO

“I started working in 1961 as a painter and slowly moved toward sculpture and object making. By 1964 I have drifted even further, towards the use of electrical, and pneumatic devices in my sculpture/objects. As electronics and home computers developed, along with my history of development as an artist, I brought these newer technologies into my work in a natural matter of fact way.

1964 is also the year when I integrated sound into the visual/tactile objects to make them more complete. This concern with the tactile (kinesthetic) auditory, and visual relations and synesthesia thereof has remained as an integral part of my work until today. Drum points specifically in a direction from the kinesthetic object towards nothing (through its transparancy). This nothing is the point/edge upon which the synesthesia acts. This is the edge that joins between object and sound. I worked with the composer James Tenney who composed three pieces specifically for this sculpture.”
(Excerpt from ARTEC 93. The 3rd International Biennale in Nagoya, Nagoya, Japan 1993, p. 11; see also: exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 200)

Drum was commissioned in 1974 by Frank Oppenheimer for his museum, the Exploratorium in San Francisco. In 1992, Stephan von Huene bought it back and rebuilt it.

Drum I

Stephan von Huene and Drum I

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1979/1982–1983

Text Tones

Text Tones

Text Tones, Hamburg

S 1979–3
six-piece installation,
aluminum, wooden base, mechanics, lifting magnets, formerly tape
(after the technical adjustment: sensors, computer)
each 138 x 138 x 20 cm

Hamburger Kunsthalle, Galerie der Gegenwart

VIDEO

Text Tones

Text Tones, Baden-Baden

Text Tones is an installation consisting of six narrow white, painted bases on top of which aluminum tubes are mounted, each struck by a pair of small hammers installed below. Mounted on the first base is a tube of a specific length; when struck by a gong, the internal column of air vibrates at the same frequency as the tube itself. Stephan von Huene called this the “absolute pitch” (here, he was stimulated by the story of Ling Lun, who was commissioned by the ruler Huang-Di to cut a piece of bamboo whose length would fix the suitable basic tone of the Chinese musical system). In relation to the first piece, the pairs of tubes mounted on the other bases are either shortened or lengthened in such a way that two octaves are segmented into five intervals. The ambient noises of the exhibition space, i.e. voices, closing doors, etc., are taken up by a microphone, stored, and separated into an analog and a digital signal. These signals, which are stored on audio tape, are then played back by the sculpture. The digital signal is divided between two little hammers, which strike the tube; the analog signal is played through a loudspeaker, and sets the air in the tube into a state of oscillation. Since both frequencies are the same, the ambient sounds of the room are reproduced in a monotone reflection. Later, the Text Tones were reworked and the mallets, originally mounted on the sides, were replaced by little hammers set beneath the tubes.

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-10)

The Getty Talk: Text Tones

The Getty Talk, Text Tones

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1985

Magic Flute

Die Zauber Flöte

S 1985–1
Four-part sound sculpture
wood, metal, computers, solenoids, organ components, lighting
(no fixed composition, the visitor determines the sequence
of sounds by sensor activation)

two sculptures ca. 200 x 40 x 55 cm,
two sculptures 190 x 40 x 55 cm

Petra von Huene, Hamburg

My Zauberflöte, which consists of four objects, utilizes only […] the characteristic frequencies in the vowels. In making use of the libretto [of Schikaneder in Mozart’s “Zauberflöte”] as my basic material I have reduced German vowels to six basic evenly spaced phonetic sounds. […] The text is analyzed for the sequence of vowels used, then fitted into the schema and played on the objects in their characteristic frequencies. This, if Henry Lance is correct, is the hidden subjective melody inherent in the text. In other words: perhaps one would not need another music.
The instruments within the four objects are associated with the instruments in the opera in that the organ pipes relate to the flute and the metallophone/xylophone relate to the glockenspiel – which are the two magic instruments. The metal organ pipes further relate to the singers in that they are the type called ‘vox humana'” (exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 233, 235).

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-11.)

VIDEO

Zauberflöte

Detail, Flöte I

Zauberflöte

Detail, Xylophon I

Zauberflöte

Detail, Xylophon II

Zauberföte

Detail, Flöte II

The Getty Talk, Zauberflöte

The Getty Talk: Zauberflöte

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1987

Extended Schwitters

Der Erweiterte Schwitters

S 1987–1
wood, mechanical parts, compressor, computer ,
speakers, sensor, sound material for about 1 hour
(3 min each cycle, 1 min pause;
without visitors every 3 min a cycle of 10 sec.)
Ca. 200 x 120 x 120 cm

Sprengel Museum, Hannover

VIDEO

Bewegungsphasen

phases of movement

“Sometimes artists anticipate future developments. In his ‘Ursonate’ Kurt Schwitters created a poem just using phonemes. The phonemes he used were seemingly arbitrary: for instance making word-like sounds out of proofs for print type or pronouncing the abbreviated signs used along the railroad tracks. Schwitters arranged this tone-material in the form of a sonata. I think that in his ‘Ursonate’ he anticipates possibilities offered by a present day electronic phoneme-generator sometimes called ‘talking chips’. Although the intended purpose of these chips is to imitate speech, they also offer the user something one could compare to a word-sound-palette.

In my work Extended Schwitters I translante the tone-material of the ‘Ursonate’ into electronic generated phonemes. Each time the work is played, different from Kurt Schwitters, the tone-material is randomly selected and then placed in the sonata-scheme of Kurt Schwitter’s ‘Ursonate’.” (S. v. H., Notes on Extended Schwitters, undated typescript, Petra von Huene, Hamburg)

I wanted to separate the speech experience out of Kurt Schwitters’ ‘Ursonate’ so as to bring the phoneme sounds more specifically to the border where timbre and what might have been a speech sound, now divorced from meaning, meet.” (S. v. H., Erweiterter Schwitters. A Study in Experimental Reality, in: exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 239)

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-12.)

The Getty Talk Erweiterter Schwitters

The Getty Talk, Erweiterter Schwitters

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1988–1993

Dancing on Tables

Tisch Tänzer

S 1989–1
Ensemble of four individual sculptures on wooden pedestals and 14 drawings
metal, computer, mechanics, compressor, fiberglass, pants, shoes, lighting

a) sculpture with forward and backward movement of the swing leg
(brown trousers), 200 x 80 x 50 cm
b ) Sculpture with lateral movement of the swing leg
(black trousers), 200 x 80 x 50 cm
c ) sculpture with diagonal movement of the swing leg
(gray trousers), 200 x 80 x 50 cm
d ) sculpture with dance-like movements
(no trousers), 275 x 70 x 40 cm
Drawings on canvas: each 170 x 115 cm

Museum für Neue Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe

VIDEO

Schuh

detail

Dancing on Tables has its precursor in Tap Dancer. Three of the half-figures wear men’s pants and shoes, and move to speeches by American politicians (General Eisenhower, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Jesse Jackson).
The fourth, unclothed dancer, standing on its base, moves to arias from “The Pearl Fishers” by Bizet and Händel’s “Rinaldo.”

14 large-format drawings, which are bordered on both sides with the kind of material used in making men’s suits, hang behind the sculptures. When the sculptures are set into motion, this triggers a triple, staggered optical effect, from the sculptures, to the shadows they cast, to the drawings on the wall.

Tisch Tänzer: braune Hose

detail

Audio material (each lasting 1.5 min.) for the three clothed figures:
speeches by General Eisenhower (peace), President L. B. Johnson (civil rights), Jesse Jackson (after losing the nomination for the presidential election).

Audio material (2.5 min.) for the unclothed figures: excerpts from Georg Friedrich Händel’s “Rinaldo” and Georges Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers.”

(The triggering by the viewer of the individual sculpture is a component of the work, pauses last 3 min., each activation is followed by a brief dance movement.)

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1990

Lexichaos
From Understanding the Misunderstanding to Misunderstanding the Understandable

Lexichaos

S 1990–1
Installation of three wooden towers, each with eight rectangular wooden pipes and 27 (formerly 30 ) plates
wood, organ components, computer, speakers, sensors, bells
Towers, each about 357 x 50 x 50 cm,
Tablets, each 100 x 70 x 4.7 cm,
voice: Pastor Ottfried Jordahn
the work includes four mind map drawings,
1999 pencil on paper, each 21 x 29,7 cm

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,
Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik

VIDEO

Lexichaos

detail

Resounding from the three towers are biblical texts on the Tower of Babel (Moses 1:11) in Ancient Greek, Hebrew, and German. The panels have built-in sensors that emit a piercing ringing sound when anyone passes.

Lexichaos

detail

(see also Mind Maps, D 1991-13.)

The Getty Talk Lexichaos

The Getty Talk, Lexichaos

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1990/1997

The New Lore Ley

Die Neue Lore Ley

detail

model for a sculpture on the terrace of the Museum Ludwig, 1990
colored metal, mechanics

Museum Ludwig, Köln

VIDEO

Partitur

score, D/C 1990-10

Lore Ley computer drawing

computer drawing VIII

Lore Ley computer drawing

computer drawing V

Lore Ley computer drawing

computer drawing III

Lore Ley computer drawing

computer drawing II

Lore Ley computer drawing

computer drawing VII

Lore Ley computer drawing

computer drawing VI

Loreley computer drawing

computer drawing IX

In 1986, Stephan von Huene was invited to propose a sculptural work for the terrace of the new Museum Ludwig in Cologne. He chose the motif of the Lorelei, whose home is the Rhine River, and who was made world famous by the song with the text of Heinrich Heine. Here, the double seduction of the combing of the hair and the bewitching song was intended to lure potential museum visitors into the building. A full-sized model, set up on the museum terrace, was greeted with emphatic and unanimous acclaim. But when it came to the work’s realization, the responsible parties vanished, just like the fishermen in Heinrich Heine’s Lorelei ballad. Produced in 1997 were 10 computer drawings (D/C 1998-1–10) and the kinetic model on an iron base, today in the collection of the Stiftung “Brandenburger Tor” in the Max Liebermann Haus in Berlin.

Die Neue Lore Ley

The New Lore Ley

S 1997–5
1997, colored metal on iron base,
computer, speakers

Foundation “Brandenburger Tor”, Max Liebermann Haus, Berlin

Lore Ley computer drawing

computer drawing IV

Lore Ley computer drawing

computer drawing X

Lore Ley computer drawing

computer drawing I

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1995

The Man from Jüterbog

Der Mann von Jüterbog

S 1995–1
half figure on pedestal, computer, air compressor,
speakers, pants, shoes, drum
Text by Reinhard Lettau, spoken by himself
Hamburger Bahnhof, Nationalgalerie, Berlin

VIDEO

Der Mann von Jüterbog

detail

“The story of The Man from Jüterbog begins with my sculpture Tap Dancer (1967) and the sculpture ensemble Tisch Tänzer (1988/95). […] In The Man from Jüterbog, the male half figure is accompanied by my friend Reinhard Lettau, who used a fountain pen to write and note down short stories, in which poetry and precision put each other to the test. […] Reinhard Lettau reads these sentences himself. The sculpture puts them to movement and performs them in the language of the mechanical half body. Every sound is numbered and is assigned to a movement. […] The Man from Jüterbog: a soloist.” (S. v. H. in: exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 201)

Partitur

score

Partitur

detail

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1996

Greetings

Greetings

S 1996–1
drum mounted on a wooden box,
mallets, mechanics, video projection

Museum für Neue Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe

When the beholder approaches the drum, his/her image is projected from behind onto the light-permeable drumhead. When he/she approaches more closely, the mallet strikes the projected image, causing the drumhead to vibrate. This unexpected stroke perhaps takes the beholder by surprise, and certainly wakes him/her up.

Greetings

Stephan von Huene and Greetings

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1997

What’s wrong with Art

What s Wrong with Art

detail

S 1997–1
three towers of wood, each taken in colors,
organ pipes, organ valves, computer, projector
later, the initially existing monochrome panels were omitted.
voices: Stephan von Huene, Maria Poelchau, Olav Westphalen

Museum für Neue Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe

Audio: 8:40 min

Catchphrases used by artists and art critics are taken up and mixed together with refrain-style repeated questions about and judgments of art. The enigmatic language of the one is confronted with the doubt and rejection of the other. The organ pipes repeat the rhythm of the sentences in a tristrophic order. For the iconoclasts, there is no doubt: “Art is always wrong.”

What s Wrong with Art

detail

What s Wrong with Art

detail

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1997

Entry Questions – Exit Questions

Eingangsfragen Ausgangsfragen

S 1997-3
organ pipes, wood, glass, computer, fan, speakers.
voice: Achatz von Müller

Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen

Over a period of years, a museum attendant at the Gemäldegalerie (Gallery of Paintings) in Berlin Dahlem (today at Kemperplatz) notated questions and commentaries formulated by visitors as they entered and exited the gallery. In 1973/79, the art historian Martin Warnke published these museum questions. The text is repeated in a tristrophic rhythm order.

Eingangsfragen Ausgangsfragen

detail

Audio: 3:20 min
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1997

Blue Books

Blaue Bücher

S 1997–4
2 drums, speakers, computer,
2 slide projectors with 2 × 45 slides
voice: Achatz von Müller

Museum für Neue Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe

VIDEO

Detail

detail

Detail

detail

In 1979, the art historian Martin Warnke published an ideologically disconcerting collection of citations from popular arthistorical publications (including Reclam’s “Kunsthefte” or “Blaue Bücher”). These passages are recited and accented by drumbeats. The double projection of the cited works of art on the drums alludes to the practice of arthistory-lectures, where slides are presented in pairs for purposes of comparison.

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1999

The Semiconductor of Chemnitz

Der Halbleiter von Chemnitz

S 1999–1
Half figure on base, metal, fiberglass,
mechanics, computer, sensor

Technische Universität, Chemnitz

VIDEO

StvH mit dem Halbleiter von Chemnitz

Stephan von Huene and The Semiconductor of Chemnitz

Der Halbleiter von Chemnitz

The Semiconductor of Chemnitz

The word “semiconductor” is a reference to one of the most important technical inventions of the 20th century; but the German term “Halbleiter” literally translates “half a Leiter” (the German “Leiter” means “leader”). This half-figure is reminiscent of the busts of celebrated professors previously found on display at universities. The figure moves in nine brief dances, apparently indicating directions with its arms.

Der Halbleiter von Chemnitz

The Semiconductor of Chemnitz

Elbow

mechanism of the elbow

Motor

engine

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1999

Sirens Low

Sirenen Low

S 1999–2
wood and steel structure, organ pipes ,
pneumatics, computer, DVD player, video
projection, technical equipment, speakers
voice: Ines Domeyer

Albertinum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden

VIDEO

“Of all Odysseus’ adventures, the encounter with the sirens was perhaps the most unsettling […] Sirens Low quotes the text from Homer’s “Odyssey”. The organ pipes repeat the rhythmic pattern at a slowed pace. The character of the tones also makes them refer to the ships and boats shown in the video. The flow [we see the Elbe River] begins smoothly and harmoniously, then it stalls and the ships falter.” (S. v. H. in: exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 206))

Sirenen Low

detail

Sirenen Low  Skizze

scetch

Sirenen Low

Sirens Low

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2000

Portrait Klaus Hegewisch

hegewisch2

S 2000–1
drum, video projection, technical equipment,
speaker ( unfinished)
166 x 102 x 260 cm

legacy Stephan von Huene

VIDEO

potrait hegewisch

Portrait of Klaus Hegewisch

The Hamburg businessman, lifelong yachtsman, and enthusiastic art collector Klaus Hegewisch (1919–2013) was a friend of Stephan von Huene and Petra Kipphoff von Huene. When Stephan von Huene asked whether he would be interested in a portrait of himself, to which he could moreover contribute, he was intrigued and delighted.

Stephan von Huene had already long reflected on the possibilities of portraiture that lay beyond painting, sculpture, or photography. His alternative to the conventional, static depiction would have to be enacted and experienced on multiple levels: visual, acoustic, tactile – a kinetic portrait (cf. also: “The Return of the Stochastician,” in: exhib. cat. Stephan von Huene: Tune the World. Die Retrospektive, Ostfildern 2002, p. 222 f.). In the portrait, which is also a self-portrait, Klaus Hegewisch recites a satirical poem (Karl Rode, Lieutenant Colonel in Maritime Service, circa 1900), which describes Kaiser Wilhelm II and his family on board his sailing ship “Meteor V”.

Visible at first are only photographs, taken from a picture book, and set in time with Hegewisch’s recitation. In a second sequence, image and tone run parallel to one another. Hegewisch’s charm and his tongue-in-cheek recitation of the North German poem show how his love of sailing and of all things maritime can be associated with an ironic variant of the Hanseatic awareness of tradition.

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