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Three to One

by Max Neuhaus
documenta 9, 1992

Artwork audio
documenta 9
Three to One


The striking glass-walled stairway in one of the earliest buildings erected in the course of post-war reconstruction in Kassel served as the backbone of Jan Hoet’s exhibition topography. Max Neuhaus filled this central setting with an electronic sound installation that extends through a series of slight modifications over three stories. Each level is assigned its own sustained tone and characterized by a unique timbre. Devoid of visible elements, the “sound work” develops an acoustic structure that unfolds at the outer limit of perceptibility. Because its volume is only slightly higher than that of the ambient noise, the work demands sharpened perception and sensitivity to the acoustic effects. For those who listen closely, the stairway space expands into a meditative spatial experience within a timeless sphere.

Property of: Stadt Kassel


Max Neuhaus (* 1939 in Beaumont, Texas, USA; † 2009 in Maratea, Italy) began as an experimental musician and later became a pioneer of sound art as manifested in site-specific installations. He took part in documenta 6 and 9.