2020 marks the year when Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrates THE SOUNDMAKER. This year is a tribute to the sounds of nature that form a backdrop to the Vallée de Joux. It is also a year that honours Jaeger-LeCoultre's great legacy of chiming timepieces with over 200 calibres created since its first minute repeater in 1870.
Keeping this legacy and history in mind, Jaeger-LeCoultre continues its year-long celebration of the art of sound in watchmaking with a new 'sound sculpture' installation commissioned by Jaeger- LeCoultre from the Swiss contemporary artist, Zimoun whose main body of work celebrates the nature of sound. He explains, ““I’m interested in sound as an architectonic element to create space, but also in sound which somehow inhabits a room and interacts with it. I work with three-dimensional sound structures, with spatial experiences and the exploration of sound, material and space – and perception.”
The 'Sound Maker' installation by Zimoun is a perfect example of the expansion of Jaeger-LeCoultre's creative and cultural universe that exists between horology and art. Its features small dc-motors, fine wires, MDF panels and almost 2,000 very thin metal discs. These discs are actual watchmaking components that are sourced from the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre. The discs rotate against the MDF panels and serves as sound sources connected by wires to the motors. This rotation of the disc is similar to the way a coin falls on the ground thereby creating a highly complex sound structure.
The artist explains: “Since all the wires holding the metal discs are bent by hand, each is slightly different, causing the metal discs to rotate at different angles or speeds. This creates a complex individuality that affects both the visual and acoustic properties of the work. The sound becomes very complex and is in constant change in its microstructures. Similar to the sound of a river, which never sounds exactly the same again. Visually, a similar complexity arises...resulting in a kind of flickering, similar to the effect we know from water surfaces.”
This new work of art will be exhibited around the world after its debut in China.
Zimoun (born 1977) is a Swiss self-taught artist best known for his ‘sound sculptures’, sound architectures and installation art. Exploring mechanical rhythm and flow in programmed systems, his emotionally engaging installations incorporate commonplace raw materials and industrial objects, articulating a tension between the orderly patterns of Modernism and the chaotic forces of life. In addition to being recognised by numerous residencies and grants, Zimoun’s work has been presented in exhibitions at prestigious international museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art MAC Santiago de Chile; Nam June Paik Art Museum Seoul; Kuandu Museum Taipei; Art Museum Reina Sofia Madrid; Ringling Museum of Art Florida; Mumbai City Museum; National Art Museum Beijing; LAC Museum Lugano; Seoul Museum of Art; Museum MIS São Paulo; Muxin Art Museum Wuzhen; Kunsthalle Bern; Taipei Fine Arts Museum; Le Centquatre Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art Busan; Museum of Fine Arts MBAL; Kunstmuseum Bern; Museum Collection Lambert Avignon; among others. The artist lives and works in Bern, Switzerland.