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.
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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