Minimum Maximum - Sculpture


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Hyper Cube Net Sculpture

Artist:  Paul Muncaster 

Edition: 1 of 1

(A larger version has been commission for Noisily festival and will be on permanent display in the UK)

Dimensions: 690mm x 690mm x 910mm

Material: Oak


About the work:

A “hyper cube net” is the unfolding of a 4D tesseract into a 3D object. A cube can be unfolded into 6 squares in 2D space; a tesseract can be unfolded into 8 cubes in 3D space, thus simplifying the concept in human perception. For me the unfolding of the tesseract is the simplification and transformation of something spiritual, in-perceivable and inherently complicated into an object we can understand and visualise.

The construction method used in making this sculpture is taken from a traditional Japanese joinery technique used in puzzle toys. This “impossible” joint is called Chidori.  The toy or puzzle leaves you wondering how three timbers can pass through one point, which is seemingly impossible. The construction method used to make the sculpture is a metaphor for ideas and concepts beyond that which we can physically visualise, as unless you see it being put together you are left wondering how to construct or deconstruct the object.

In a world where technology and machines make processes more efficient, and “products” become ubiquitous and banal without any sense of being special, I work predominately by hand using traditional methods of construction. This enables me to get involved in the process and create objects imbued with care and consideration. Minimal sculpture and architecture appear deceptively simple, but any discrepancy can ruin the illusion, and so the process requires more effort and attention to detail. At every juncture of the sculpture there are three pieces of timber without need of fixings. The relationship of these three pieces hold the puzzle together, in total 36 joints need to align perfectly, and yet none of this is perceivable. The complexity of this sculpture, both in its concept and manufacture is both covert and overt.


The idea of there being something ‘More’, or ‘beyond’ that which we can physically perceive is of great interest to me. Most people can relate to the concept that there is ‘more’ to what humans can experience or understand, be it spiritual or scientific. People have strived to examine this through religion, academic study, and the arts. In my sculptures, I visualise scientific and mathematical hypotheses through the act of making.

Just because a person cannot perceive something doesn’t mean it cannot exist. The tesseract is a great example of this. In a mathematical sense we can only perceive things in 3D.  A tesseract is a cube in 4D space. It is a 4D shape where every face is a cube, and as such is an extension of what we can imagine as space and time.


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