Hyper-Cube &
Mechanical Hermaphrodite


1. of or relating to machines or mechanisms.
2. working or produced by machinery.
3. (of a person or action) like a machine; automatic; lacking originality.
4. a. (of an agency, principle, etc.) belonging to mechanics.
b. (of a theory etc.) explaining phenomena by the assumption of mechanical action.
5. of or relating to mechanics as a science.



    1. a. [Zool.] an animal having both male and female sexual organs.
    b. [Bot.] a plant having stamens and pistils in the same flower.

    2. a human being in which both male and female sex organs are present, or in which the sex organs contain both ovarian and testicular tissue.
    3. a person or thing combining opposite qualities or characteristics.


    1. combining both sexes.
    2. combining opposite qualities or characteristics.

L hermaphroditus f. Gk hermaphroditos, orig. the name of a son of Hermes and Aphrodite in Greek mythology, who became joined in one body with the nymph Salmacis

(Concise Oxford Dictionary, 8th Ed., Copyright 1991 Oxford Univ. Press)

The Hyper-Cube is a structure which extends beyond the three dimensions to which we are usually confined. Its existence in our space is defined by the sides of a glass case. Where it is exhibited, a representation of the Hyper-Cube's contents in other dimensions is also projected onto a planar surface in our universe for hanging on.... a wall (how technologically sophisticated!)

Details on the hyper-cube and its relation to Privileged Access are available.

For exhibition of the Hyper-Cube (Feb '97, Linden Gallery, Melbourne, Australia), the Mechanical Hermaphrodite will be projected into the space contained within the cube.

Our uncertain future...

Prophets of the future would have our space populated by engineered / modified mechanical / biological monstrocities. See for example Blade Runner (Scott/Dick), Terminator (Cameron et al), Robocop (Verhoeven), Neuromancer, Burning Chrome, Johnny Mnemonic (read the book) (Gibson), even Stelarc (who seems to crop up everywhere ;-)... etc. etc.

The engineered creature may be portrayed as a thing to be feared, a threat to the human race, a challenger to our perceived supremecy of the universe. (For example, Star Trek's Borg or the Terminator)

In stark contrast to this portrayal of engineered intelligent beings is the tendency to depict machines created for the 'betterment' of society. Machines for law enforcement, replacement of failed or weakening biological bodies, or substitution of perfectly healthy bodies in order to 'improve' them in some short-sighted and/or trivial manner.

Why is it advantageous to be engineered? How is it that humankind can be so blind as to think it worth replacing biological parts in order to make structures run faster, shoot more accurately, earn more money, whatever? Is it because this will allow us to spend more time doing the things we 'really want to do'? When will we stop trying to 'make our lives easier'?

Why not let the universe be run by robots? We could then spend our time copulating for pleasure (No need to go to the trouble of organizing contraceptives, we're all engineered sterile, no need to search for a partner, we are equipped with all we require), all our needs provided for us by engineers? For that matter... I don't even want to have to _walk_! I don't want to _think_ it takes too much effort... I want to spend my eternity in bliss whilst all the mundane tasks my crummy biology requires of me are taken care of.... I want my unbreakable silcon-chip mind, mounted on titanium long life, low maintenance limbs, to be immersed in an eternal Sim-Stim.

What might I look like?

I wonder...

The view through the frontmost hyper-cube viewer

...pretty unattractive.

The use of symbolism in the hermaphrodite is unashamedly explained for your perusal. Some early sketches of the Hermaphrodite are also floating around. [For those of you who did not catch my sarcasm... this is NOT the kind of future I would like to see!]

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The images and text here are ©Copyright Alan Dorin 1996-2001