“Six Sided Strange” (Rubikesque Creatures) by Jason Nelson


Six Sided Strange is a net-artwork series built from unsolvable Rubik’s cubes and hidden narratives, from pixilated game character collages to abstract streams of color and lines. The cube is central to how we organize and understand. It is a puzzle of unsolvable junctures, a humanistic shape created to order and organize. Six Sided Strange disrupts the cube, wandering inside/around the recombinatory playground of Rubik’s 56 squares, exploring how images and designs relate to narrative. These are interactive/dynamic sculptures, brief storylands, and all manner of wonderments. There is nothing to win, but then again there never was.

This recent commission from Turbulence is a series of interactive/dynamic sculptures each taking the form of animate and unsolvable ‘Rubikesque Creatures’. This work follows the messy, lively and content heavy aesthetic that permeates some of Jason’s previous work. It also uses an interface, the rubik’s cube, that implies an (albeit challenging) end goal to the experience however thanks to the animate and nongeometric nature of the each cube face the puzzle is unsolvable. A futility that has also been explored in Jason’s previous game-based work.

Most of Jason’s work has been programmed in ActionScript to run on Adobe’s Flash platform. The Flash platform has recently been taking a fairly significant battering by open web advocates (as well as Steve Jobs whose interest are clearly different and predominately vested). Although there is rationed argument for open standards in web technologies there is also a chapter in the evolution of the Internet that Flash is a significant part of.

Jason’s work is part of this canon of culturally significant Net Art works but also using Flash as his material of choice has meant his work, unlike many early work in JavaScript and Java, has not been rendered unplayable by advancing software and conventions of the web, i.e. subject to bit-rot.

Further reading on Jason’s work.

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