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

Tap Dancer 1967
Tap Dancer 1967

photo: Estate Stephan von Huene, ZKM, Karlsruhe

Tap Dancer

1967

S 1967–1

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

Collection Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Hope, Idaho

Hamburger Kunsthalle 2003,

Jan-Peter Gehrckens (© NDR 2003)

0:28 min

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)

interior view
interior view

photo: Estate Stephan von Huene, ZKM, Karlsruhe

“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)

Getty Talk, Tap Dancer 1991
Getty Talk, Tap Dancer 1991

photo: Elke Walford