Can I ask you a question, 2019, Yuvi Kahana - Eretz Israel Museum

Can I ask you a question, 2019, Yuvi Kahana


15 speakers and an optical microphone, operated by a software incorporating an innovative Immersive Sound protocol with Dolby Atmos Music encoder.

The optical microphone sways like a pendulum above the head of the listener, creating a meditative effect and producing a jarring feedback sound that gives the repeated unanswered question a sense of urgency. The sway of the pendulum reflects the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of life; a reality imposed by a force majeure.


Yuvi Kahana (born 1966), PhD, is a researcher in the field of immersive sound and psychoacoustics. He lectures around the world in his unique field – the use of optical sensors for the study of speech and hearing in fMRI systems (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and their effect on the cognitive system, body and soul. He develops and presents his works in an Anechoic Chamber.


“As I walked around the Crafts Arcade in the Man and his Work Center at the Eretz Israel Museum, I looked at artisans’ tools that have long ceased to be used. While I wandered through this space I closed my eyes and imagined the sounds of the market and its surroundings. These discrete sounds created the foundation for the exhibit.

From there I integrated some research findings that differentiate between the inability to hear and the inability to pay attention; many of us hear extremely well but suffer from personal or cultural attention deficit. These findings feed into the central theme of the exhibit and are reflected in the immersive 3-dimensional sound scape.״

The exhibit highlights the issue of attention deficit within the intimate atmosphere experienced by the visitor. The artist invites us to take 5 minutes out and immerse ourselves in a world of sounds and imagination.

Referencing The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives (1908), the exhibit asks us to consider whether, in a world of continual noise and distractions, it is even possible to ask a question.

Photo: Bob Rosenbaum


On display in the Glassblower’s Workshop at the “Man and His Work” Center, Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts & Design, MUZA – Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv.