alesi_20200224_02934_master(photo by Leon Alesi)


Light Sleepers is about my periodic struggles with insomnia. It consists of a prison camp diorama, a setting inhabited by multiple selves who are trapped, forced to rehash persistent thoughts and unpleasant memories, all projected on a giant drive-in theater screen. I know that Prison Camps have a specific association with¬† the Trump administration and their blunt immigration policy, but they have been used throughout history by so many to contain and demoralize their occupants. To me, they seemed an apt metaphor for inescapable thought patterns. Whenever I get stuck in a moat, it’s often after having 2 or 3 hours of restful sleep. I awaken in a dark room, almost without definition. It’s quiet in the house, there’s not much sensory data, which is the ideal setting for rumination. A flattened, featureless desert seemed to be the closest comparison. Thoughts then flood my brain in quick succession, before my eyes can adjust. It’s almost impossible to distract myself free from their attraction.

IMG_6482(photo by Leon Alesi)


One themes I return to frequently is being a childless adult among my contemporaries, who are often married with children. I am a sounding board for their anxieties and complaints, as I can offer them no meaningful advice. However, I have heard so many identical anecdotes about parenting at this point, I feel like an authority, but it remains a missing part of my adult experience. I will continue to deliberate about parenthood until I die.


This piece was part of ICOSA Gallery’s Window Dressing series.¬† It was up for about week-and-a-half back in February, earlier this year.

I took a deep dive into 3d printing for this project. With the exception of the sand-encrusted wooden platform on which it was constructed, all of the individual pieces were printed either in PLA, ABS or resin.


I ended up having to outsource some of the printing for pieces that were too large, or too tall for my printer to accurately generate. The fence panels and the figures printed nicely in PLA on my machine.


I hadn’t painted any models since I was in elementary school, but I was pleased how that turned out.