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Zimoun Transforms Cardboard Boxes And Cork Balls Into A Mechanized Sound Sculpture

Over two hundred boxes with DC motors attached hum in unison.

There might not be an answer to the question, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” But if you asked, “What is the sound of 294 cardboard boxes fitted with DC motors and cork balls?” you could get a definite answer. That answer is in the above video, which showcases one of the installations that was present at Zimoun‘s solo exhibition, Volume, at New York’s Bitforms gallery last year.

Zimoun creates room-sized kinetic sculptures from materials that most of us use to store stuff in our garage. By taking these ordinary objects and attaching motors to them, he elevates the humble cardboard box to mechanized sound sculptures that produce industrial-sounding music using a functional aesthetic.

Here’s what his studio says about the piece:

Part of a series that received its U.S. debut in a solo exhibition at the Ringling Museum of Art in Fall 2011, the installation at Bitforms gallery NYC emphasizes the grid as a method of visual organization. Precariously balanced rows of cardboard boxes form an architectural space containing a rumbling din produced by mechanical motors humming in unison.

Pulsing rhythmically, each unit in the system reverberates with its own sense of purpose and timing. Temporal microstructures emerge and shift, made visible by collective behavior. With minimalist and low-tech means, Zimoun constructs a blank zone of play utilizing repetition and the physical pressure of vibration.