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A confounding puzzle turned into art

Posted by Kevin Hartnett  March 5, 2013 01:00 PM

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There's an old adage: If life hands you a Rubik's Cube, go make art. Or at least it seems that way sometimes. Because people do make a lot of art out of Rubik's Cubes. The Spice Girl's frolicked around one in the music video to their 1998 single, "Viva Forever;" there's a giant Rubik's Cube statue on the University of Michigan campus; and the puzzle has inspired its own genre of art--Rubik's Cubism--in which cubes are combined to make pointilism-style images.

Which brings me to the mural unveiled in Macau, China, in December, which claimed the Guinness Book of Records title of "Largest Rubik’s Cube Mosaic Ever Created." The Canadian firm Cube Works used 85,794 Rubik's Cubes to create a 200-feet long, 13-feet high mural of Macau's skyline along the city's waterfront. Macau's other claim to fame is as an international gambling destination, and one can imagine this mosaic providing a degree of ironic comfort to poor souls who wander there, broke, from the casinos: The world is a really strange place, so why worry so much about losing money.

Macau Mural 2.jpg

Macau Mural 3.jpg

Images courtesy of Cube Works Studio.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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