I’m a bit behind the eight ball … uh … Rubik’s Cube … on this one, but I think it is worth pointing to the arcane awesomeness of code artist Douglas Edric Stanley. Douglas solves a problem that has plagued humanity since the diabolical creation of the Rubik’s Cube: how can we play with this fun-to-move cube of blocks without having to (augh) actually match up all the colors? (Okay, maybe that problem only plagued me. Or didn’t really plague me, as I’d just fiddle around with the Rubik’s Cube and make interesting patterns.)

The answer: make a three-dimensional step sequencer using the Cube.

As seen on Music thing and (video) Audio Porn Central

I’m not sure I personally need a Rubik’s Cube interface, but I love the idea of three-dimensional sequencers, much as I enjoyed the (preposterous) notion of three-dimensional chess on Star Trek. (Side note. Spock, I suspect, would be equally unbeatable in a live P.A. set with a 1024×1024 three-dimensional Monome Cube.)

As it happens, the story of Douglas and the Rubik’s Cube is an interesting one. You can check out Douglas’ other wonderful creations:

abstractmachine Blog (he’s a wizard with Processing, the Java coding tool for artists)
abstractmachine Flickr set
Interview with Douglas Edric Stanley [we make money not art]

Mr. Rubik himself is equally fascinating — a Hungarian architect, engineer, interior designer, and sculptor who went back to academia, then started making games. Apparently, he’s now turning to architecture and digital games, meaning he can make us feel stupid all over again in a new medium. (Seriously, I’d love to see what Rubik’s Video Game studio turns out; as you’ll see, the Rubik’s Cube is just one of many brain twisters.)

Ernő Rubik