Installation, 2013

Jennifer Townley (NL)

Cubes is a kinetic, mechanical art sculpture based on a geometric pattern of diamonds that gives the optical illusion of six cubes, when in fact the perceived cubes only consist of three diamond-shaped forms grouped together. The piece uses the transformation of motion and power that takes place within a machine and the way the independent mechanisms work together to explore the way the brain, a machine itself, responds to repetitive movements. A diamond which at first glance appeared to be the topside of one cube can at the same time become the underside of another cube, making the pattern of cubes so very interesting.

Powered by a small electric motor, a mechanical construction at the back of the machine moves very slowly up and down. It tilts the eighteen diamondshaped aluminium plates back and forth, emphasising the three-dimensional form and therefore the illusion of the cubes. The tilting of the aluminium plates causes light to be reflected from different angles and changes the colour of the plates constantly. This makes it even harder to stay focused on the one cube the viewer sees. The aluminium diamonds seem to reconnect themselves with a different cube again and again, inducing a subtle, hypnotising effect on the viewer.

Artist's Statement

Geometric patterns that make the human brain see things that are not really there have always been a fascination for me as an artist. I came upon this pattern of diamonds and it made me wonder what would happen if it were to be combined with movement, and Cubes is the result of this experiment. The work is made within the possibilities and boundaries of my workshop but could also become a very large wall—or even building-covering sculpture.