You might think it a nuisance when a few packing peanuts spill from a box out onto your living room floor. But when an entire hallway is filled with millions of the white nuggets and blown around in a cyclone of styrofoam, you’ll probably react a bit differently.
It’s all part of an installation by artist Zimoun, famous for using everyday materials and constructed environments to create hypnotic soundscapes. For this piece, entitled 36 ventilators, 4.7m3 packing chips, Zimoun filled part of the Art Museum of Lugano, in Switzerland, with a truckload of styrofoam peanuts, below which sits a series of ventilation fans that send the materials into an undulating flow of polystyrene.
In reality, each window of the museum is a separate chamber filled with styrofoam. But viewed from the outside, the spaces seem to merge into one long river of motion. The sound resembles white noise, but when coupled with the visual experience, it seems oddly familiar.