Numen/For Use – whose past installations have included carpet-lined cocoons and webs of adhesive tape – teamed up with lighting specialists Balestra Berlin to create the N-Light Membrane as an exploration of the "curvature of time-space".
Three of the cube's six surfaces are made from semi-transparent mirrors, while the other three are made from reflective foil membranes. Behind these, the team installed an air tank.
By inflating or deflating this tank, the flexible membrane surfaces can be made convex or concave. This causes the reflections to gradually change, shifting the boundaries of the contained space and its infinite reflections.
"Membrane cube, constructed of see-through mirrors and foil-membrane mirrors, begins its deformation in a cartesian, endless three-dimensional grid," explained designers Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler and Nikola Radeljković.
The edges of the cubes are marked by narrow lighting tubes, so as visitors peer inside the cube they are faced with a limitless grid of light that gradually expands and contracts.
"In one of the extreme deformations of the inner cube, this grid is bent and compressed in concave voids. In the other, after passing through 'normal' stage, we are confronted with total destruction of space. Within a few seconds, all our sensory knowledge of space, our stable firm ground is taken away from us," said the designers.
"After the first shock, the fall turns into thrill," they added. "The crystal clear reflections of glass see-through mirrors and rough appearance of screw-driven mechanism of the below exclude any possibility of digital illusion, physically assuring us that the deformation and the disintegration is for real."
N-Light Membrane was first presented in 2011 at the Rizzordi Art Foundation in St Petersburg. It is on show at Palazzo Bembo in Venice as part of the Time Space Existence exhibition.
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