Julius von Bismarck & Benjamin Maus
Round About Four Dimensions

Aluminium, stainless steel, brass, polymers, electronics
230 x 230 x 230 cm

Design & Engineering: Benjamin Maus, Piet Schmidt, Orlando Helfer Rabaça, Martin Schied

We naturally conceive of three spatial dimensions, yet envisioning more becomes a challenge to our imagination. To understand these complexities, even physical theories rely on specific tricks. Just as three-dimensional objects cast two- dimensional shadows, four-dimensional entities translate into three-dimensional forms. When a four-dimensional body rotates, its three-dimensional shadow seems to invert. Here, that abstract notion is made a visible reality.

This sculpture, Round About Four Dimensions, represents a “hypercube”, “four-cube” or “tesseract”, often cited in mathematical and physical theories to illustrate concepts beyond three spatial dimensions. This three-dimensional revolving motion is a projection of a four-dimensional rotation, a phenomenon we cannot fully grasp. This previously intangible concept is brought to life by the kinetic tesseract sculpture, which wraps endlessly around itself. It reminds us of the boundaries of our understanding and concepts we struggle to wrap our heads around. While this object may not provide answers, it invites CERN’s visitors to ponder the complexity of the Universe.

Julius von Bismarck (b. 1983 in Breisach am Rhein, Germany) grew up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He lives and works in Berlin and Switzerland. He was the first artist in residence of Arts at CERN in 2012. His artistic practice, which combines visual art with themes from the natural sciences and humanities, takes a variety of forms: installations, happenings, sculptures and land art.

Benjamin Maus (b. 1984 in Geislingen an der Steige, Germany) lives in Berlin, where he operates allesblinkt, a bureau for art and invention. His technological comprehension and capabilities stem from his involvement with machinery and computation since childhood, and he is self-taught in many disciplines. In his artistic work, he is interested in various automated modes of production and their impact on society.

The artwork is a permanent installation at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

About Julius von Bismarck

In his works Julius von Bismarck explores people’s ability to perceive, and he uses the laws of physics to challenge the way we are used to seeing things.

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