Luke Aleckson: U.N.P.A.C. (Uniform Non-Coding Parallax Autostereogrammic Cyclopti-cryptograms) by Christopher Atkins

The multiple is not merely that which has many parts, but that which is folded in many ways. - Gilles Deleuze (1925-95) *

DESPITE ALL OF ITS COMPLEX FUNCTIONS, the human brain can be tricked quite easily. Looking at two nearly identical images placed next to each other will read in the brain as a remarkably convincing three-dimensional image. These stereograms, an invention of the late 19th century, create a deceptive illusion of depth and scale. Popular "View­Masters" In the early 20th century, employed this effect. An autostereogram, like the mass-appeal "Magic Eye" books, is a two-dimensional image that, when viewed intensely, releases the illusion of a three-dimensional object as if it were floating in space. ("Magic Eye" books were originally mislabeled as stereograms.) It requires a trick of the eye to see the image contained therein. Luke Aleckson's MAEP exhibition, "U.N.P.A.C. (Uniform Non-Coding Parallax Autostereogrammic Cyclopti­cryptograms)," begins with a photograph of a burr puzzle, a set of interlocking wooden shapes that, when assembled correctly, resemble a geometric seed burr (a prickly envelope encasing a seed). The puzzle is converted into a digital photo, manipulated by a computer, which instructs a precision router to carve the shapes into pieces of maple plywood. The pieces, which range in height from 1 to 8 feet, have been installed on the gallery walls as sculptural stereograms. Stepping back from these objects, a viewer can concentrate his or her vision to elicit the shape of the original burr puzzle, a massive replica of which Aleckson has created in the gallery. He uses a wood finish that closely resembles the wood trim in the Target Wing galleries, incorporating the gallery space into his installation. 

Aleckson is interested in encryption-how information is compressed, then locked into a space. French philosopher Gilles Deleuze's concept of "the fold" is a helpful tool for thinking about Aleckson's project. This relational theory focuses on the physical and conceptual connections between objects. Deleuze wrote, "Two truly distinct parts of matter can be inseparable . ... One would thus have to say that a body has a degree of hardness as well as a degree of fluidity."* In the same way, some believe the human body and soul occupy the same space. When matter is folded together, the distinct parts overlap and become contiguous. For example, Deleuze doesn't visualize historical eras in a set of sedimented layers stacked one on top of the other. Instead, history is more like a tapestry that has an infinite number of pleats, which fold into one another, then unfurl again into new folds. This model, which is like a landscape, is much more complex than a timeline.

"U.N.P.A.C." displays how the original digital photograph, whose information, through several processes, has been folded into the wood. Aleckson has created a fascinating conflation of illusion, technology, and natural materials. Unlocked by a trick of the eye, these pieces contain a coded message revealing an image floating in a strange, infinite space within the gallery. The burr puzzle is a toy Aleckson remembers from his childhood, in which interlocking shapes rely only on gravity to keep them together. Aleckson's massive burr puzzle only looks like the original-it is hollow. Even though they appear to be pure surfaces, these architectural elements are not inactive; they do something.

In some science-fiction films and literature, cyberspace
has a utopian dimension. The implication is that through technology, humanity will evolve into a perfect existence. But these utopian fictions require only a temporary suspension of disbelief. The story or film will end. In "U.N.P.A.C." the images locked into these stereograms, waiting to be released, are free of logic and appear almost magically. While the science isn't new, the technology is, and it remains astonishing when one "gets it."

* Deleuze, Gilles, "The Fold," Baroque Topographies, vol. 80, Timothy Hampton, ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press), 280


Luke Aleckson @ Julius Caesar

May 31 - June 28, 2015

one or more plates defining a first generally cylindrical containment chamber segment for decelerating bullets, the first generally cylindrical containment chamber having a top and a bottom, an inlet disposed adjacent the top for receiving  into the first containment chamber segment and an egress adjacent the bottom for allowing bullets to pass out of the first generally cylindrical containment chamber; and

one or more plates defining a second generally cylindrical containment chamber segment for decelerating bullets, the second generally cylindrical containment chamber having a top and a bottom, an inlet disposed adjacent the top for receiving bullets into the second containment chamber segment and an egress adjacent the bottom for allowing bullets to pass out of the second generally cylindrical bullet containment chamber; and

wherein the first containment chamber segment and the second containment chamber segment are attached to one another end to end in a horizontal array so that the inlets of the first containment chamber segment and second containment segment form a single uninterrupted ingress extending horizontally along a containment chamber formed by the first containment chamber segment and the second containment chamber segment.

wherein the first containment chamber segment and second containment chamber segment are releasably attached to one another.

further comprising a support, and wherein the first containment chamber segment and the second containment chamber segment are releasably attached to the support.

wherein the support comprises a plurality of flanges for receiving the first containment chamber segment and the second containment chamber segment.

wherein the support further comprises a support frame.

wherein the support frame has a plurality of cams disposed thereon for holding at least one of the first containment chamber segment and second containment chamber segment to the support.

wherein the support frame has a plurality of cams disposed thereon for holding the first  containment chamber segment and the second containment chamber segment to the support.

wherein the cams are configured for holding the first  containment chamber segment and the second containment chamber segment against the plurality of flanges.

wherein the support frame extends beyond the containment chamber segments and is configured for holding one or more channeling plates.

wherein the one or more channeling plates comprises an upper channeling plate and a lower channeling plate.

wherein the channeling plates direct bullets to the inlet.

wherein at least one of the channeling plates comprises a plurality of generally planar impact zones.

further comprising a channel segment corresponding to the first containment chamber segment and a channel segment corresponding to the second containment chamber segment, and wherein the channeling segments are releasably attached together to form a continuous channel.

wherein one or more plates of each of the containment chamber segments are generally arcuate.

wherein the first containment chamber segment and the second containment chamber segment are attached so as to form a containment chamber having an interior which is uninterrupted between the containment chamber segments by sidewalls.

further comprising a third containment chamber segment having an inlet for receiving bullets into the third containment chamber segment, the containment chamber segment comprising one or more plates for deflecting and decelerating a bullet, wherein the third containment chamber segment is attached to the second containment chamber segment so as to form a single uninterrupted inlet along the containment chamber formed by the first, second, and third containment chamber segments.

wherein the first, second, and third containment chamber segments are attached so as to form a containment chamber which is uninterrupted by interior sidewalls.

JUNE 17 - JULY 22, 2017

Future Fatigue (Cruise Control): The future was exciting, but we became accustomed to exponential advances in everything. Floating astronauts, we were going 1000 miles per hour, but were bored and boring.

Asymptote (The Quickening) : coming closer and closer to zero or closer and closer to eternity, faster and faster, but never arriving at either.

Exponential Violence (Risk Addiction): At an asymptotic velocity, existential threats blurred into one another.

The Edge Effect (. . . And the Legend Continues): At a certain point, digital renderings became nearly indistinguishable from photographs. Especially when looking at images of things we couldn’t experience firsthand, from deep space to the atomic. We seemed to remember someone coining the term “edge effect” to describe this phenomenon, way back when, but google searches turned up nothing. Memory failed.

Memory Fails (I Want To Believe): All digital information existed physically somewhere. Much of it lived in server farms in remote areas of rural America. Without intentional backups of these servers, these were the places where information could disappear in a real and final ways (in the event of a system failure).

Digital Revolutionaries (Re-Entry): Advances in digital manufacturing allowed for a parallel blurring of realities: digital information being materialized into objects. The resulting objects felt like renderings, even in front of ones eyes.

Revolutionary Renderings (Beyond Cyberspace): the most revolutionary architecture is unmade. But it can still make things happen.

Info Wars (Dark Territory): Its was seemingly appropriate to discuss the failures of techno-utopian visions of a universally-enlightened public. Information had been weaponized. We found ourselves vulnerable and exposed in a new dark age, when all information was mediated by far-off experts, real or invented.

New Dark Age (The Cradle of Life): We needed to protect ourselves in the new dark ages, when all information would be mediated by far-off experts, real or imagined.

Viral Weaponry (The Quest for Peace): As information was translated into objects, weaponized information became physical, opening up the inevitability of viral weaponry.

The Liberator (Ghost Gunner): "The Liberator is a physible, 3D-printable single shot handgun, the first such printable firearm design made widely available online. The open source firm Defense Distributed designed the gun and released the plans on the Internet on May 6, 2013. The plans were downloaded over 100,000 times in the two days before the United States Department of State demanded that Defense Distributed retract the plans.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberator_(gun)

Trace Threats (. . . ): Plastic guns made the threat of violence nearly invisible, faint traces paradoxically oscillating between existential and insignificant threats. They were potentially everywhere, but there were so much more virally spreading threats to occupy our time. The scope and sheer number of threats were beyond the individual person’s ability to process without overwhelming fatigue.