The Idea and Concept behind “Cubes” | SEB AGNEW
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Seb Agnew | Cubes: Overview

The Idea and Concept behind “Cubes”

How “Cubes” was Created

In my new photo series “Cubes”, I created hyperrealistic sceneries using miniature sets. The series started back in 2018. Until then, I mainly redesigned existing life-size rooms for my elaborate photo projects. For a long time, I had imagined how great it would be to have complete control over the sets, their furniture, and props. So in order to get “bigger”, I decided to go “smaller”.

Being a big fan of stop-motion-films and their beautiful set design, I have always wanted to combine dioramas with “real” models in order to express my photographic visions. Unfortunately, I had no education or experience crafting miniatures at all, so I had to start completely from scratch.

In the next 18 months, I handcrafted nine individual miniature sets (using different materials and crafting techniques as well as laser-cutting and 3D-printing). The models were shot separately, paying extreme attention to matching perspective, light and color. I developed different techniques to make the models blend seamlessly with the dioramas and to make sure my general photographic style would not have to be compromised.

Conceptual Ideas

The series “Cubes” basically examines individual and yet so stereotypical human universes. In the last couple of years, I often found myself looking at three equally shaped three-story buildings right in front of my kitchen window. Most of the time, curtains block the view of what happens within the walls of these privately owned apartments. Sometimes, I see lights turn on and off, a TV flicker or the silhouette of a sole person gaze through the slats of Venetian blinds. I cannot stop wondering: What happens inside these rooms? What do their inhabitants think and feel? And why are they, seemingly, all alone? And do they, maybe, think the same of me when they watch me watching them …?

Seb Agnew | Cubes: Mockup
Planning the position of the nine cubes and how they are connected

All nine cubes are linked to one another, metaphorically and visually held together and connected by means of water running through the walls of the building.

Every person is a microcosm, and every microcosm has a story to tell.

Here you can find short videos on the construction of each set. In the following weeks, I will present some more insights and behind-the-scenes-material about each CUBE here on my blog.