Art in the 4th dimension?
December 28, 2010 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Do any visual artists work in 4 or more dimensions? Who are they, and what does their work look like?

After reading Flatland, I am wondering if there are any visual artists that have tried to represent more than the 3 dimensions that we can see. If you know of any examples, please let me know!
posted by tnygard to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
There's this.
posted by brainmouse at 8:34 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Assuming you mean a fourth spatial dimension Dali's Corpus Hypercubicus would fit your description, in a sense.
posted by griphus at 8:37 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

A tangential answer, but in some university visual arts departments, things like painting and drawing are called 2D, sculpture is 3D, and things like video and performance art are 4D (I've also heard "time-based art" and "non-static forms").
One version of the history of "performance art" or "live art" emphasizes exactly the desire that you describe--to represent more than 3 dimensions.
posted by Mngo at 8:38 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staricase, No. 2 is what art depicting the (fourth) temporal dimension looks like.
posted by griphus at 8:42 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Following on Mngo's suggestion, how about Marina Abramović?

"The Artist Is Present"

"From March 14 to May 31, 2010, the Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective and performance recreation of Abramović's work, the biggest exhibition of performance art in Moma's history.[22] During the run of the exhibition, Abramović performed "The Artist is Present," a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the museum's atrium, while spectators were invited to take turns sitting opposite her."

Marina Abramović: Live at MoMA

posted by MonkeyToes at 8:43 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Damien Hirst's work (like the famous preserved shark) often uses 4 dimensions, with the 4th dimension being time.

Part of what's cool about the work is contemplating the way that the shark has been frozen in time, deathless, immortal. (Thus the title of the work, "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.")
posted by ErikaB at 8:55 AM on December 28, 2010

posted by TheGoodBlood at 8:57 AM on December 28, 2010

Bruce Nauman.
posted by effluvia at 9:00 AM on December 28, 2010

Best answer: There is a book that might interest you by an art historian, Linda Henderson. She's an expert on Marcel Duchamp. The title is The 4th Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art. Here's a review published in Leonardo, Vol. 17 that will explain what it's about better than I can.
posted by kaybdc at 9:11 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's a piece at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT, where an apple is embedded in pages from Kafka's Metamorphosis. The piece changes over time as the apple decays. I can't remember the name of the artist.
posted by OmieWise at 9:43 AM on December 28, 2010

Agree with Mngo and MonkeyToes: Performance Art... Marina Abramović. I was at the MoMA at that time; it doesn't get more Dimensional than that...
posted by 3dd at 9:54 AM on December 28, 2010

Here's an example of an artwork involving four spatial dimensions by a collaborator of mine. It was her MFA thesis project in Electronic Visualization.
posted by rlk at 10:06 AM on December 28, 2010

Rudy Rucker has written about four dimensional space using diagrams showing (his idea of) a three-dimensional representation of a hypercube. He also co-created a freeware app showing tumbling 4d shapes as 3d wireframes.
posted by freya_lamb at 11:07 AM on December 28, 2010

Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

One of his works is a pile of candy of the same weight as his lover who died of AIDS. Viewers are invited to take pieces of candy, so the pile slowly grows smaller and lighter, as his lover did.
posted by zahava at 11:11 AM on December 28, 2010

Physical art has to be 4D or else it wouldn't exist for a perceptible amount of time.

More literally, anything that moves. I'm not sure what you're asking.
posted by cmoj at 11:12 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

The octacube, by Adrian Ocneanu, a math professor at Penn State. It's a 3-dimensional projection of a 4-dimensional object.
posted by number9dream at 6:48 PM on December 28, 2010

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