ScaleCube

2010, wood, paint, aluminum pigment 

51.8 × 51.8 × 51.8 cm

»ScaleCube« is an enlarged copy of a NASA scale cube. (This has a standard length of 1 cm and is used as a scale of reference for photographing meteorites.) Beinroth enlarged the length of the sides in the »ScaleCube« to the dimensions of the so-called »Nippur cubit«, the oldest existing unit of measure known to man. All other pre-metric lengths derive from this measure, which is also known as the original cubit.

The oldest measuring object to feature this ancient unit of measurement was found in Temple E of Nippur, Mesopotamia. It is made of a copper alloy and has been dated to around 2,800 B. C. Indicated by the notched markings on the object the Nippur cubit measures 518.3 mm. Today, the rule is on display in the Museum of the Ancient Orient in the Archaeological Museum complex in Istanbul. 
However, the unit of measure itself is older, temples dating back to 3,500 B. C. exist, which were measured using the Nippur cubit.

Citing the letters depicted on the NASA scale cube, the cube is aligned according to the respective points of the compass for its current position. In this manner it places the surrounding space in relation to the cardinal points of the earth. The »ScaleCube« evokes various associations. Among them are the Platonic notion of solids and their assignment to the four elements – the hexahedron (cube) was assigned to the element earth. However, the basic shape and coloring of the cube also make you think more of the most sacred relic of Islam: the Kaaba in Mecca and its importance for qibla (the direction of prayer).

Platonic solids are convex polyhedrons with congruent regular polygons as faces where the same number 
of faces meet at each 
of the vertices.
 Classification according to the platonic view of the world:

Fire: Tetrahedron
Water: Icosahedron
Air: Octahedron
Earth: Hexahedron (cube)
Outer space / ether: dodecahedron

Lunar Meteorite: Allan Hills #8ALHA#9 A81005 with 1cm scale cube – NASA / courtesy of nasaimages.org