A Swiss tank and cotton balls: studio Zimoun’s latest vision

Edited by: Enrico Trolese

Artist:studio Zimoun

Where: Dottikon, Switzerland

Photographies and videos courtesy Studio Zimoun ©

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If the words studio Zimoun means something to you, you probably have an idea of what to expect inside this 12.8m-tall toluene tank, situated in Dottikon, a little town situated a few miles north-west of Zurich, Switzerland.

Zimoun : 329 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, toluene tank, 2013 from STUDIO ZIMOUN on Vimeo.

The Bern-based studio’s most recent work is a permanent installation, in which the 1951’s cylindrical tank interior becomes the scene for 329 dc-motored cotton balls. The kinetic sound, made by the spheres bumping onto the metal surface, became part of the composition in this multisensory installation.

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However, more than the sound component, the visual part is the striking one: the shiny surface dotted by the tiny engines almost becomes a modern curved vertical Zen garden, in which the observer can lose himself in contemplation.

The obsessive use of the mechanical parts in Zimoun’s works, in this case the dc-motors, gives them the charisma of theatrical characters. Like in Duchamp’s useless machines, the sense is not in what the machine does but the meaning of the machine itself.

The visitor can appreciate in this work, as in all his studio works, a minimal palette of colour /materials, usually cardboard, white, and steel. Everything is then enhanced by the architectural taste for the volumes and surface composition.

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«329 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, toluene tank | Zimoun 2013» Making-of Video by Florian Buerki from STUDIO ZIMOUN on Vimeo.

For this particular work, Zimoun had the support of Hannes Zweifel as architecture and consultant; the lighting system is designed and developed by Davide Groppi; the landscape architecture by Hannes Zweifel and Samuel Interbitzi. The on-site project coordination was managed by Bruno Bachmann.

Check the studio Zimoun website to get more information about current exhibitions and past works.

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About the Author

My career started studying classic literature and humanities, after that, I chose to attend the college of Architecture in the University of Trieste, Italy, my hometown and the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura in the Politecnico of Valencia, Spain.
When I came back to Italy, I collaborated as tutor in the IUAV (University IUAV of Venezia) and in the University of Trieste.
In 2011, I started working as architect in London, meanwhile I joined the Posi+tive Magazine's architectural department as editor.
In 2012 I began a new activity, as co-founder of zero40lab, an architecture laboratory in Italy.

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