In 1960, Tinguely creates his sensational, self-destructing scrap metal work, Homage to New York, in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In the first half of the 60s, the artist works principally with scrap iron and «objets trouvés». Works created include the Ballet des pauvres (Ballet of the Poor) and the «Balubas» series, motorised scrap sculptures featuring colourful «chaotically» assembled components that shake backwards and forwards in wild, jerky movements accompanied by a great deal of noise.
During this period, the artist constructs a series of machine sculptures, whose aggressive and eccentric movements and sounds scare the onlookers, but also cause them to laugh.
With his «Chars» – cart-like sculptures that move backwards and forwards, from left to right, up and down – the artist produces works such as those to which Sisyphus was condemned, constantly repeating their aimless and purposeless activity.
An important turning point is reached in 1963. Tinguely now paints his sculptures a uniform black, thereby emphasising their formal, plastic-sculptural qualities. In addition, a more robust mode of construction and the use of ball bearings enable Tinguely to experiment with a combination of rocking, circling and rotating movements in his «Bascule»- and «Eos» sculptures.
Klamauk (1979) is a work with «multi-dimensional» properties: mounted on a tractor. Through it, Tinguely realises his idea of a mobile, noise-making, smoking and stinking machine sculpture.