Stephan von Huene | Glass Pipes
The complete work of Stephan von Huene: kinetic and sound sculptures, sculptures, assemblages, drawings
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Glass Pipes

Glass Pipes 1974/76
Glass Pipes 1974/76

photos: Estate Stephan von Huene, ZKM, Karlsruhe

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.)

Hessischer Rundfunk 1983

Gottfried Sello (© HR 83)

1:04 min

Glass Pipes 1974/76
Glass Pipes 1974/76

“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.”

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)

Getty Talk, Glass Pipes 1991
Getty Talk, Glass Pipes 1991

photo: Elke Walford