The shape of a circle in the mind of a square


‘The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Square’ is Troika’s latest large-scale sculpture, installed in the light flooded atrium of the new campus building of Zealand Academy in Køge, Denmark.

The sculpture is part of an ongoing series of works in which Troika explore the multiple ways of knowing and understanding the world. 

Inspired by Edwin Abbott’s satirical novel ‘Flatland’ where the inhabitants of a two-dimensional world cannot comprehend the existence of three-dimensional objects, the work brings together different geometric forms that are revealed when seen from distinct positions in the atrium. From two opposing vantage points, the sculpture assumes apparently irreconcilable forms: a circle and a square. The impossibility to grasp the full nature of the object and to see both ‘states’ at once points towards a possible unity of seemingly antithetical forms. 

As such, the sculpture invites the viewer to reconsider the opposing nature of classic dichotomies, categories, and divisions and suggests that antithetical positions might actually be but different facets of a unified principle of higher order.

This attempt at unification is mirrored in the way the sculpture was created. It is both digital and hand-made, both real and virtual. Emerging at the intersection of two intersecting cones of vision, the complex and precise geometry of the sculpture was first conceived and drawn in virtual space. In its physical form, the volume is suspended as if it was still floating in the limitless vacuum of the digital realm.

This merger of classical categories also exists in the way the sculpture offers itself to the viewer: it is a painting, a sculpture, an installation, an animation. It presents itself both as a flat geometric shape, as much as a sculptural volume and an object that appears to shape-shift and change as you pass around it. 

The sculpture commission was organised by Lone Schubert and Zealand Academy.