Electric Elegance In Zimoun's Sculpting Sound
The sound sculptures of Zimoun take lo-fi equipment—cardboard, DC motors, wire—and create unique soundscapes that reverberate with a kind of tranquil simplicity. Using pared-down materials, he builds mechanical structures that create a chorus of mesmerizing sounds that defy expectations of what a ball of cotton hitting a cardboard box should sound like. Not only that, but some of them are quite imposing, immersing the viewer in a wall of cardboard and dancing wires that makes these installations fascinating to look as well as listen to.
We fired off a few quick questions to Zimoun to find out a bit more about the installations and where he gets his inspiration from:
The Creators Project: What aspects of sound are the different pieces in the exhibition exploring?
Zimoun: There are five installations, three of them are based on the resonance properties of cardboard, the other two are based on filler wires. The three cardboard pieces are all based on the same materials (like cardboard and the same type of DC-motors), but they all sound quite different. The small differences of how the motors are used changes the sound of each piece a lot and shows a wide range of cardboard-based sounds.
How long does it take you to install these pieces?
It took about eight days to install the exhibitions. There was a team of five to ten people helping every day. There was the great team of the Ringling Museum, my assistant Stephanie Sherriff and also a group of art students. So it was great teamwork which went into realizing this show.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Often the inspiration for something comes up out of very normal, everyday situations. At the end, they all seem to be an examination of the present—influenced by just about everything. But most of the time the idea isn’t growing out of just one thing, idea or experience. I’d say it’s more some kind of coming together of many small things—ideas, interests, materials, thoughts, experiences, visions, etc. For instance, I get inspired by different environments and things, not just objects that make sound. So I think for me it’s more about being awake and trying to be present where I am. And so, tons of things are inspiring me. Of course, the beauty and complexity of nature, its systems, function, chaos and order are very inspiring. But also mechanics, tools, human beings, factories, insects, brains and ideas, simple solutions, swimming in the river, nice food, philosophy, doing nothing, and many more. At the end, it’s probably just life and the ability of an active perception and interaction that’s inspiring. Planet earth is definitively a very interesting and inspiring place!
80 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes 71×71×71cm | Zimoun 2011
175 prepared dc-motors, filler wire 1.0mm | Zimoun 2010
236 prepared dc-motors, wire isolated, cardboard boxes 41×41×41cm | Zimoun 2011
49 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes 51×51×51cm | Zimoun 2011
361 prepared dc-motors, filler wire 1.0mm | Zimoun 2010