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Pink + Pink

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Date Minted:  September 14, 2020

Artist Description: Pink + Pink is part of Color Moods, an experimental stop-motion series I made using handmade paintings, water, heat, and found objects.

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

Beatriz Helena Ramos is on the Mt. Rushmore of crypto art’s most important figures. One of the two founders of (along with Judy Mam), Ms. Ramos was responsible in large part for the standardization of royalties in crypto art smart contracts. Nothing of the sort had been attempted before DADA attempted it, and those who knows Ms. Ramos’ contributions know that she is a figure deserving the utmost admiration. Not content to merely be a prolific thinker, Ramos is also a highly-decorated artist, herself contributing multiple pieces in DADA’s historic Creeps & Weirdos series in 2017, and a highly-decorated writer, having filled the pre-crypto art internet with tens of thousands of words about her vision for an invisible economy for artists, about her desire to dispel the myth of the starving artist, and about the entire ethos of DADA itself, laid bare at a time when the crypto art space was so primordial it could have taken any shape. Instead, it glommed onto Ramos’ strong and well-explicated backbone. A mind unlike any other, Beatriz Helena Ramos is an uncommonly titanic figure in the crypto art world.

And, I must say, it brings me no shortage of joy to see that her brain is also capable of imagining and composing the kind of oddball, hyper-creative artistry we have before us today. Pink + Pink is one of thirteen examples on SuperRare of Ramos’ playful side, a stop-motion wonder that traffics in associations and ironies. Ramos’ pieces in this series, which she calls Color Moods, are all stop-motion, all share similar title structures (color, or color + color, or color + color + color) and all feature tiny found objects brought to childlike life. Often, it’s lego pieces she’s fascinating upon. Elsewhere, crayon markings or tiny clay constructions. In Pink + Pink, Ramos’ subjects are Perler Beads, teeny-tiny circular bits of plastic many of you will remember playing with as children, placing them on pegs to create images and then heating them with a hot iron until they melt together and stick. Pink + Pink has no interest in depicting the realistic use for such items, but instead conceives of them as akin to tiny insects, forming together as if controlled by a hivemind. 

Like little insects, the perler beads whizz and scurry around the frame, forming together into lines, into shapes, into formation. This looping video seems to have too much information in it for something that lasts only a single second, and thus, Pink + Pink has an almost hypnotic quality, the nature of all those visuals juxtaposed with the speed at which things race around the frame. When the video starts, we are zoomed-in quite close, able to see the minute movements of only 55 of the perler beads. It’s a tiny fraction of all the beads which reveal themselves to us a moment later. In that initial, zoomed-in view, the beads travel in pairs, trios, or by themselves, moving towards each other from the four edges of the frame, falling into longer lines, and all marching off towards the image’s northern edge. Then we zoom-out, our sights set upon a much larger section of the grey landscape where the video takes place. There are dozens and dozens and dozens of the beads suddenly visible in great lines, and more emerge from the frame’s edges, all of them forming together, not into lines now but into a great writhing mass, akin to something amoebic and single-celled. For half-a-second, it seems as if the mass is about to begin moving as one in a single direction, but the video loops over again, and we’re back where we began. It’s tricky to know that the video has even looped. If you were seeing Pink + Pink on SuperRare, which does not list the duration of looping videos, you might think that there was some evolving narrative, that the constant zooming-in and zooming-out was a decision made to convey some continuous action. You probably won’t have absorbed all the visual information by the first or second time the video looped, and so you may very well watch the loop again and again and again before you realize that all the continuity you perceived therein was an invention of your own unconscious making. 

Pink + Pink seems to be a study of movement, but also of how eager we are to assign associations to things, and how easy it is for us to do so. We become aware, looking at Pink + Pink that we think in patterns, that every object or being that we can conceive of is not an island, but is an amalgamation of its specific features: movement, size, speed, organization. There’s nothing in this piece to suggest the natural world, to suggest insectoids specifically, and yet with even the tiniest bit of goading —an effect of the pearls’ size and nature of how they move— we make highly-specific allusions to more familiar objects. Desperate, we are, to erase any uncertainty, filling any abstract spaces with the nomenclature and hierarchy of our weller-known world. 

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