I made an effort towards this but there were enough uncertainties that I abandoned the effort.

Cryptex is a Dan Brownism and at talk at a museum in 2005, Jim Sanborn alludes to some similarities to his Kryptos statue.  After reading the following excerpt you’ll see why it’s very tempting and see why it’s worth the effort to pursue.

“And if you actually take the Kryptos sculpture and you turn it onto itself and wrap it into a circle it makes this cylinder with text that goes all the way around it.  Now an encoding decoding machine, you can take these lines of text and rotate them and align various lines of text up with decoded text and encoded text, and you can actually crack codes with these kinds of machine.  Well this object that I have since been commissioned to put in various universities around the country, and there are actually two large pieces at the entrance to the convention center just inside the doors there.  These cylinders I call projection cylinders, and you know, my sculptures called Kryptos, and in the Da Vinci Code this little machine that’s the cylindrical decoding machine is called Cryptex.  So that’s very close, so I sink a little deeper in the couch.  So anyway, so there is some relationship to the Da Vinci Code, which will be, I suppose, more clearly delineated when the new book comes out.  But I’ll tell you there are many books now being sold on the Internet.  There’s a new book down at Barnes and Noble — speculative inquiries into the next Dan Brown book after the Da Vinci Code, and Kryptos is either on the cover of some of those books or its buried in the book some — buried into these books.  And it shows that there is some relationship here, all of which sort of accidentally happened to my Kryptos sculpture.  Now how do I feel about it?  Well, I feel it just may be a little bit like – like Dorothy when the Wizard of Oz with Toto out there walking out there along the planes in Nebraska – a tornado comes along and pulls her into this giant fantasy world, and she goes down a tunnel.  Well, that’s all very interesting.  It isn’t necessarily my work, but  I can’t say that I really despise the extra publicity.”

I really wanted the cryptex setup to work out, it didn’t but I think the discovery of this transcript is the real find.  I’d like to thank Gary Phillips for passing me the link.  The context of the quote definitely gives some tangible concepts to work with and that’s rare in Kryptos.

Now I step onto my soap-box…

I have a hard time wading through the overt gnosticism to enjoy Dan Brown’s works so I have an innate repulsion to assigning too many correlations between fictional work and what was intended to be a creative use of standard ciphering methods.  I know that many people found their way to Kryptos through the Da Vinci Code cover competition and the media frenzy but we have to remember this is likely due more to Dan Brown’s interest in codes and ciphers  and less to some amazing connection between the two.  If there is a connection, and this may happen in Mr. Brown’s next book, it is a fabricated one and no matter how appealing or enticing we must remember that these two men earn their living from the public – which is you and me.  Whether it’s in book sales or correlative fame by having a sculpture from that dood who did that CIA thing; they want us interested.

…and I’m done.

I think it will be beneficial to look into other rotational cipher mechanisms like the Jefferson wheel cipher, the scytale and similar methods to try and figure out what Sanborn did.

Kryptosfan

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