Art

Crack This Cypher to Reveal Alternate Universes

The new project from Bedtimes tells a hidden story through stunning photographs and a code.

Francesca Capossela

Images courtesy of the artist

Beautiful and strange black-and-white photos depict odd surfaces, eerie neon lights, and otherworldly objects. In one picture, an ancient bust is attached at the chest to glowing tubes, and has a shining cross stuck to its forehead. A crack runs down the side of its face. In another, these same glowing tubes create a river of light in a canyon, viewed from the sky. A typical image of natural wonder is perverted by the presences of these tubes, which recall hospitals, illnesses, and the supernatural. Several photos of skyscrapers, cast in light and shadow, accentuate angles and perspectives, making the buildings look odd and unstable.

While scrolling through the project, an audio track plays, composed by the artist, Conor Grebel. Grebel, who is behind the visual art and music of Bedtimes, previously collaborated on Tycho’s music video for “see" and helped create THUMP’s new logo earlier this year. The multimedia artist refers to the entire project as a “narrative frame piece”—a combination of images, music, and a cypher, a cryptic string of numbers placed at the top and bottom of the page. The cypher, Grebel explains to the Creators Project, tells the story of an alien satellite, hiding the narrative in a series of numbers which, when decoded, reveal the missing context of the photographs.

This project was inspired by research into the possibility of multiple realities; these theories, Grebel says, drive him wild. In line with this, the project requires curiosity and skill to fully understand, but once decoded, offers a totally unique perspective. While ambiguous, the encoded story hints at other possible worlds and realities. The satellite, Grebel says came from another world—but which, is up to your interpretation. See more images from the project, and try your hand at the code, below:

Click here to begin to crack Bedtimes' new cypher. 

Related:

Tycho’s Otherworldly “See” Video

Thump’s New Gunmetal Logo Dances to The Beat

See How SFX Artists Shaped The Elements for Tycho’s “See” Video