We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip main navigation

Complementary cubes, 1973-1974

Video of a the Complementary cubes
© Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Manfred Mohr’s ‘Complemetary cubes’ is a computer-generated film sequence produced via a programmed code.
In Lullian studies, the figure of the cube gained importance with a book written by the mathematician and architect of the Escorial, Juan de Herrera (1530-1597), entitled Tratado del cuerpo cúbico conforme a los principios y opiniones del ‘Arte’ de Raimundo Lulio (Treatise on cubic form).
It was probably Juan de Herrera who introduced King Philip II to the works of Llull, which inspired the creation of a chair of Lullism at the University of Alcalá de Henares. Herrera believed that the cube was one of the primary figures of Llull’s ars and that it could be related to the correlatives (e.g., the correlatives of goodness are: ‘the Bonificative’, ‘the bonificable’ and ‘the act of bonifying’, which shows that all reality has an intrinsic dynamics).
Given all the above, the continuous generation of Mohr’s cubes, cubes which are always seeking completeness, recovers the idea of combination or ​​complementarity and the importance of the formal mathematical aspect of the cube. Think also of Jorge Oteiza’s metaphysical boxes…
This footage, ‘Complementary Cubes’ (around 5 1/2 minutes), from 1973 – 1974, was originally written for the film “Cubic Limit” but was not used in the film. It shows two sequences of subsets of all the combinations of two rotating cubes, one with ‘n’ edges and the other with ‘12 minus n’ edges. Images from this film were published in the catalogue “Cubic Limit”, 1975.
Manfred Mohr,1975. Complementary Cubes, 1973-1974. [online] [Accessed 03 November 2016].
© Universitat Pompeu Fabra
This article is from the free online

Understanding Ramon Llull: ​Philosophy, Arts and Science through the Ars Combinatoria

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education