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

Washboard Band 1967
Washboard Band 1967

photo: Frank Oleski

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


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Hamburger Kunsthalle 2003,

Jan-Peter Gehrckens (© NDR 2003)

0:53 min

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 would 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)

Getty Talk, Washboard Band 1991
Getty Talk, Washboard Band 1991

photo: Elke Walford