Hearing Aid, 1976

Media installation, Variable dimensions

In his extensive experimental production, Michael Snow used to cross disciplines such as installation and sound. Hearing Aid (1976) is one of his sound installations. The work consists of a metronome placed in an empty space. The sound of the metronome (and of the space where we hear it) is recorded and played back on a cassette placed in an adjoining space. The sound emitted by the cassette player is re-recorded and played back in turn on a second cassette placed in a different space. The whole process is repeated a third time.

The sound of the metronome, altered by the effects of the space and played back over and over, reveals that all representation is distortion. Is it possible to capture sound in itself? How can we describe what we hear? What does it mean to listen and understand? Is there a possible representation that does not alter the individuality of the facts? A minimalist installation that invites us to think about the nature of sound, but also about memory, space and representation.

Technical details

Original title:
Hearing Aid
Registration number:
Snow, Michael
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Media installation
Electric metronome and sound recording, 90 min
Variable dimensions
Edition number:
Ed. 1/2 + 1 P.A.
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Michael Snow
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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