Julius von Bismarck and Benjamin Maus
Round About Four Dimension
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Meyrin, Switzerland

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.

Round About Four Dimension is a permanent installation at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

Caption: Julius von Bismarck & Benjamin Maus, Round About Four Dimensions, 2023, aluminium, stainless steel, brass, polymers, electronics 230 x 230 x 230 cm, copyright the artists; CERN, Geneva; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; alexander levy, Berlin