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36 ventilators whirl 4.7m3 of packing chips – Zimoun unleashes a plastic storm


Opening this Saturday (April 26) at the Art Museum of Lugano in Switzerland, 36 ventilators, 4.7m³ packing chips is the new installation by Zimoun, the Bern-based artist known for his architecturally-minded platforms of sound. Zimoun yet again extends his installation inventory. Converting nine of the museum’s towering window spaces into ‘ventilation chambers’ (four ventilators are installed in each window) and filling them with polystyrene, Zimoun unleashes a perfect ‘plastic storm.’ Congregating into a mass that’s neither solid, gaseous nor liquid, the flakes perform a violent, otherworldy dance. With the phenonema trapped behind glass, we get to watch in wonder from the safety of the outside.

“Even though the swirling of the polystyrene in the depth of each of the windows is actually limited to that space, we have the impression that the movement is propagating to the whole length of the Limonaia. To the visual effect adds the ticking of chips on the window panes, which could remind a thin but insistent rain. If, instead, we cross the threshold and get inside the space, the perception produced by the ebb and flow of the chips changes radically becoming more abstract; the movement appears mechanical rather than natural, the buzzing of the ventilators covers up the ticking of the polystyrene on the windows and thus reveals the artificial origin of the motion.”

“Zimoun’s installation fascinates us because it reveals what is otherwise invisible: the absolute precision of the mechanisms lying behind the unpredictability of all phenomena. The simplicity and perfection of the works of the artist, which is clearly expressed here by the neat setting of the ventilators, the alignment of the supply cables, the pure white of the polystyrene, produces effects that, as they sum up, greatly exceed our power of understanding.”

– Text (excerpt) by Guido Comis and Cristina Sonderegger, published in the exhibition catalogue

The exhibition will run from April 26 – July 11, 2014.
For more information about 36 ventilators, 4.7m³ visit Zimoun’s project page.
Art Museum Lugano: http://www.mdam.ch

Project Page

Zimoun is one of eight artists featured in the inaugural issue of HOLO, the semiannual print magazine published by CreativeApplications.Net. Drawing on the talents of more than thirty writers and photographers, HOLO provides intimate views into fascinating studios, workshops, and institutions around the world. You can order your copy via our shop.



  • Andreas Gysin

    Will be there : )

  • I would add colors spots lights everywhere, under, and some Black Light (used in the clubs makings white stunning).
    But this idea is stunning creative : )

  • Neonia


  • Yeahhh! Thanks!