" I have long been fascinated by the mechanised sculptures of the Swiss artist, Jean Tinguely. I would sometimes encounter his works at modern art museums, but they were rarely in working order. Many of his mechanised pieces self-destructed, or require frequent expert maintenance. Finally, I was able to visit the Tinguely Museum in Basel, which had a staggering collection of his works on 2 spacious floors, with all mechanical pieces in full working order. The recordings I made of them form the source material for my Ritual For Jean Tinguely. The sounds are sometimes manipulated drastically, sometimes minimally. I also used some shortwave radio sounds as material. Some of Tinguely's later works struck me as meditations on death and the afterlife, and I hope this comes across in the piece.
It was a beautiful June day when I walked through the park that leads you to the museum. I was quite surprised when a large (about 4ft.) pink helium balloon passed slightly above my head and headed purposefully towards the museum. It was heading for the entrance when it was caught by Tinguely's mechanised fountain that stands outside the museum. The motorised arm slowly pounded the balloon down into the water, until it finally burst. I had the strong impression that the spirit of Jean Tinguely was there! "
Michael Prime, April 2019
1. Ritual For Jean Tinguely Pt 1 (21:22)
2. Ritual For Jean Tinguely Pt 2 (21:02)