Christmas Cube

The last few holiday seasons have seen a rapid development in Christmas light technology. Half a decade ago, icicle lights replaced old-style string lights as the stand-out holiday product. Next came net lights, which introduced the second dimension into Christmas lighting, allowing the decorating customer to blanket entire surfaces – say, a bush – in a single gesture.

Betty’s net

The next holiday craze would logically be to just add another dimension to the Christmas light’s n-space. In other words, the time has come for three-dimensional holiday lights, the Christmas Cube.

A 10 light x 10 light cube suspended in space above a cold suburban lawn would present an exercise in perception that would be measurably more enlightening than the standard flashing-lights and glowing plastic reindeer fare. And it could be accomplished by assembling together n number of net lights, where n is the length and width of a square set of net lights. (Easy!)

I’ll be doing it myself on the back porch as soon as I’ve saved up the money. The grid of a single net light forms one side of the cube, shown here in its purest graphic form:

Fig 1
Flat Net

By lining up 6 of the above grids equidistantly, we achieve the idealized mathematical cube of Chrismas lights:

Fig 2

But this is no mere exercise in chasing the rising tolerance for entertainment of America’s credulous but jaded middle class. If we could translate this homemade prototype into a professional, patented Christmas product, using a wire material that holds its shape but was flexible, we could take the surface of the cube and perform all sorts of operations from the fields of topology and differential geometry.

We could make a catenoid.

We could make a pseudosphere.

A similar experiment was included in last year’s LA MoCA exhibition Ecstasy: In and About Altered States, which means the form has verifiable psychedelic applications.

See its write up at We Make Money Not Art

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