Zimoun installs motorised seesaws inside Austrian church

Zimoun installs motorised wooden seesaws inside Austrian church

The sounds of 150 mechanical seesaws striking the floor of a former church in Austria reverberate around its nave in this installation by Swiss artist Zimoun (+ movie).

Named after the materials used in its creation, Zimoun's latest installation is titled: 150 prepared dc-motors, 270kg wood, 210m string wire.

Zimoun installation at Klangraum Krems church in Austria

The artist used the wood to build 150 simple seesaws, made from long batons that pivot vertically on short upright lengths.

Orientated in different directions, these are scattered around the nave and transepts of Klangraum Krems – a Gothic church converted into an events space in the Austrian town of Krems an der Donau.

Zimoun installation at Klangraum Krems church in Austria

Each seesaw incorporates a motor that powers a thin metal arm, which is attached to one end of the rocking wooden element by piece of wire.

When the motor is activated the arm flicks back, pulling the string taught and causing the end of the wood to strike the ground.

Zimoun installation at Klangraum Krems church in Austria

"Over a simple mechanical system the wooden laths are set in motion and randomly falling back to the floor," said Zimoun.

All of the wooden assemblages move at different times, creating a discordant mixture of sounds that are amplified by the acoustics of the cavernous space.

Zimoun installation at Klangraum Krems church in Austria

"The sum of all those individual systems is generating rich textures in sound and motion, while the architecture of the church is reflecting and amplifying all the tiny sounds all over the space," Zimoun said.

The installation runs until 26 July 2015 and builds on Zimoun's previous sound-based installation, in which 250 wooden poles hung from the ceiling of a warehouse randomly pummelled the floor.

Zimoun installation at Klangraum Krems church in Austria

Zimoun's other work with motors has included three installations made up of cardboard boxes, which the mechanical components added jostling and spinning motions to.