In 2 prepared DC-Motors, Cotton Balls, Cardboard Boxes 16.5 × 12 × 5 cm (2013) Zimoun uses wire-reinforced adhesive tape to connect two smaller cardboard boxes and a portable headphone to form a participatory kinetic sound object. Like the basic unit in 1 Prepared DC-Motor (2012), the cardboard boxes serve as sound bodies for cotton balls that beat against their surfaces by means of DC-motors. When the viewers put on the headphones and use the toggle switch to turn them on, their ears take on the role of an amplifier, allowing the a-rhythmic pounding to immerse them in a sound world that shuts out any other external noise.
Zimoun himself speaks of the “primitive complexity” of his works, a polarity, which becomes apparent even in the smallest unit of the individual speaker. The works’ simple functional materials are assembled by hand in a manner that reflects the unique and always slightly changing cloud of sound that spreads out from around the box. With two rhythms in the headphones this effect is doubled, as it is multiplied many times over in the installations, where hundreds of these basic units, in a kind of minimalism to the power of two, together create an ever unique, walk-in sound space.
The minimalist grace and intrinsic magic of his kinetic sound spaces is reminiscent of the artist Pe Lang, whose work is also represented in the collection of the HeK, and with whom Zimoun collaborated between 2004 and 2008.
(Text: Bettina Back)
Growing up in Moosaffoltern near Bern, Zimoun learnt to play various musical instruments early on and wrote his first simple compositions at the age of ten. Following teacher training in Bern (1996–2000), he presented his first musical and visual works at the Tonus Labor (later Orbital Garden) of the Bernese musician and composer Don Li. Since 2004, he has been awarded prizes and scholarships, including the Aeschlimann Corti scholarship, the Kiefer Halblitzel Prize (2006), the Canton of Bern’s scholarship to New York (2007) and the Honorary Mention Ars Electronica in Linz (2010). During his three-month artist-in-residence fellowship in China in 2004, Zimoun gave 15 live performances in various Chinese cities. Zimoun has held acoustic performances at festivals and concert halls, including the Elektra Festival Montreal, the Royal Academy of Music Denmark, the Festival Transmediale in Berlin and the Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam. Institutional solo exhibitions include Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (2010), Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida (2011), Museum MIS São Paulo (2012), Borusan Contemporary Istanbul (2012), Nam June Paik Museum Seoul (2012), Harnett Museum of Art Richmond (2013), Rennes, at the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée Les Champs Libres (simultaneously in 2013), Musée des beaux-arts in Le Locle (2016/17), Le Centquatre in Paris (2017), Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (2018). He has also participated in numerous institutional group exhibitions worldwide, such as in Asia, Canada and South America: 2012 and 2016 in Taipei, 2013 in Seoul, 2014 and 2016 in Montreal, 2016 Santiago de Chile as well as in Switzerland at the Kunstmuseum Thun.