Once upon a time, people thought the Earth was flat. When it was finally discovered to be round, most people just shrugged and went about their regular daily lives. Fast forward to the present, and one imaginative designer is thinking about the world in a different way. Hawaii-based photographer and designer Petey Ulatan leans on digital imaging tools to reimagine the world—as a cube.
Ulatan’s artistic interpretation of the world as a cube is not the same treatment as taking other round objects and making them cubic, such as the cube-shaped watermelons grown in Japan. Rather, his vision reflects something closer to science fiction, where Earth’s corners face inward to create exceptionally geometric valleys that defy gravity. Ulatan, who unveiled his cubist world in a series of curious images on Instagram, bends a number of familiar scenes at 90-degree angles, making for some very interesting—and head turning—possibilities.
The squared-off world of Ulatan’s creations takes everything we know about the Earth’s physical attributes and turns them, well, sideways. A sailboat can now not only glide along the water’s surface, but can also take a 90-degree turn up or down. Smoke flowing up from a factory’s stacks might spew from two different planes, intersecting at a sharp angle. A relaxing day by the lake may require folks to crane their neck in order to get a view across the water, as the vantage point reaches straight down from a drop-off.
Ulatan’s cubic world doesn’t need to explain its bizarre physics or impossible gravity. It doesn’t require an explanation of how its shape came to be. Rather, his series of manipulated images serves a more esoteric purpose, which is to inspire people to look at the world in a different way.
Images via Petey Ulatan