/// 1996 /// Interactive Sound Sculpture
/// Stephan von Huene


In Stephan von Huene’s work it is the relationship of man and machine and the perception and interaction with the public which plays a special and often unpredictable role, whether this be in the use of noises, voices, the stepping of the museum visitors (Text Tones) or even through the noiseless movements when viewing installations (TischTänzer, Lexichaos). It is only the visitor who first makes the “Theater of Machines” sound (Achatz von Müller). In addition to research into sound and language, the work on the interface of art and science, the functionality of perception and the interplay of the senses, Stephan von Huene has pursued his lifelong interest in an art which centers in the experience of the viewer rather than in the object of art itself.
If the visitor approaches this sound sculpture, his picture is projected from behind onto the translucent drum skin. If he continues to approach the drum, a powerful beat on the bass drum sets the skin as well as his own mirror image into vibration. It is as if the sculpture demands all the attention of the viewer so that he understands himself as an acteur in this mechanical-synthetic system. The viewer sees himself in the system which he is at the same time viewing. He is himself part of the system which he views. This cybernetic feedback transforms the viewer into that which he sees.

(Text: Thomas Thiel)

Stephan von Huene (*1932 in Los Angeles, † 2000 in Hamburg) studied fine arts and art history at Pasadena City College from 1950 to 1953, at the University of California in Los Angeles from 1952–1953 and 1963–1966, as well as at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1955 to 959. From 1964 onwards, he completed works of Assemblage pictures and sculptural objects from wood and leather. From 1967 he began work with audio-kinetic sculptures, sound installations and machine bodies. He taught at diverse universities and art academies in California.
Von Huene received the International Siemens Media Art Prize of the ZKM | Karlsruhe. He was Professor at the State Academy of Design Karlsuhe from 1993–1996.


Photo: Estate of Stephan von Huene, Hamburg

Stefan von Huene, Greetings/Grüße, 1996, interactive Sound Sculpture, drum mounted on a wooden box, drumsticks, mechanics, video projection, estate of Stephan von Huene, Hamburg