The kinetic sound sculpture 1 prepared DC-Motor, Cotton Ball, Cardboard Box 23 × 23 × 6 cm (2012) by the Bernese artist Zimoun consists of a cardboard box that serves as a sound body for a cotton ball. A wire connects the cotton ball to a small rotary electrical motor on the box, as this turns, the ball lightly drums a-rhythmically against the box. Viewers can set the ball in rotation themselves by means of a small toggle switch and also turn it off again.
Throughout his work, Zimoun uses very simple, industrial materials; similarly, his mechanics are straightforward and do not involve any complex software programming. The single box is a sound sculpture in its own right, but also serves as a basic unit of room-filling, architecturally constructed installations, where the artist assembles hundreds of boxes, wooden sticks, felt balls or paper bags into rattling walls, crackling carpets or scraping ceilings.
Standing alone, the box already demonstrates a concentrated intensity, on which the sculptures and above all the larger assemblies of these elements are able to build their intrinsic fascination, in their polarity of structure and chaos, of order and coincidence. While their basic structure is clear and simple – and even accumulations of hundreds of boxes in large installations always reflect a clear architectural principle that is cast down to the smallest unit – their analogue, instantaneous interplay results in a complex and unrepeatable orchestration that envelopes the space in an anarchy of atonal rhythms and idiosyncratically rotating or swinging, swarm-like movements.
(Text: Bettina Back)