133 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes 50 x 50 x 50cm

Zimoun, 2022

Drawing on his work with industrial materials and mechanical processes, Zimoun presented ‘133 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes 50 x 50 x 50cm’ at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery for the summer of 2022. In his first solo installation in the UK since 2014, the artist animated innocuous materials to become rhythmic and chaotic cascades of sound. The ambitious structure came alive with a constant, percussive thrum of simultaneous, mechanised impact to bring complexity to otherwise simple and usually static materials.

Emerging as an artist in 2000 with his first exhibitions in his native Switzerland, Zimoun began exhibiting internationally from 2004, his work recently being seen in exhibitions in Seoul, São Paulo, Paris, Madrid and Beijing. The artist’s solo return to the UK as part of the National Festival of Making and Art in Manufacturing intensified focus on the artist’s choice of everyday materials paired with industrial items and methods.

Supplied by Lancashire business The Cardboard Box Company, each box was installed in union with one of the 133 cotton balls and dc-motors constructed and fabricated ahead of installation. The equally dramatic and reassuringly steadfast wall of cardboard and constant sound had a direct and purposeful link to the region’s making past and present.


Swiss artist Zimoun is best known for his installative, site-specific, immersive works, using mechanical principles of rotation and oscillation to produce sounds. Zimoun principally uses simple materials from everyday life and industrial usage, such as cardboard, DC motors, cables, welding wire, wooden spars or ventilators; yet by combining them he develops small apparatuses which, despite their fundamental simplicity, generate a tonal and visual complexity once activated in multiples, of often hundreds. An internationally acclaimed artist, Zimoun’s recent exhibitions include Seoul, São Paulo, Paris, Madrid and Beijing.



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