Big cube, little cube

Bending the banding for optimal optics.

Optical illusion where a small banded cube appears to both cut into and float above a larger cube

This image riffs on some of Sol Lewitt’s work. It builds on the typical illusion of a Necker cube, which may appear to recede from or protrude towards the viewer. Here the large cube is fairly stable, but the small cube is less so. It can be perceived as cutting into or floating above the larger cube.

But there is another interesting feature. The number of divisions on each face varies in order to give a consistent visual weight to the banding pattern. The faces of the small cube are divided into two, three and four parts. The larger cube, which is double the size, contains four, six and eight divisions on its faces.

The six visible faces in the drawing are constructed using 36 lines, in three directions. There are 15 verticals, 12 diagonals and 9 horizontals. While none of this is surprising, it does give the image some nice mathematical rhythms that may appeal to graphic designers who enjoy more rigid grids and structures.

See Banded Frames and Lines, not long for some generative art also based on Lewitt’s work.