This light sculpture by Numen/For Use bends reality to a new level. It’s a large cube of one-way mirrors lined with bright lights along the edges. Three of the cube’s six surfaces are made of flexible membrane, which bend as air is pumped into the cube by a huge compressor on one side. The other three surfaces are semi-transparent mirrors, so you can see into the cube’s infinite dimensions without leaving a reflection.

In other words, you get to peek into the Escher-esque abyss as it changes shape: “By inflating or deflating the air tank, the membrane turns convex or concave, deforming the reflections.” It must be seen to be believed. Make sure you scroll to the video below.

n-light membrane

n-light membrane

n-light membrane

In the words of Numen/For Use, the Croatian-Austrian design collective that built the cube and others like it: “These objects, when lit, produce images that function as ideograms for non-Cartesian definition of space, in which the vanishing points are multiple and elusive, with the primary form of each solid projected ad nauseam, creating fractal light graphics.”

Full-screen and hit play to see your world expand:

Keep watching past the first minute, and you’ll get an idea of the cube’s size compared to a person.

This may be the trippiest object I’ve ever seen, and yet it’s just 6 mirrors, 12 fluorescent lights, and an air compressor. A true display of complex patterns emerging from simple parts. The creators describe it as “a vertiginous display of an orthogonal neon grid collapsed into the depths of infinite multiplication — a virtual abyss unlocked by purely analog means.” Sounds about right to me.

I would love to stare into this thing for hours in real life — with or without chemical help. Who’s with me?

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