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the project that taught me its risky to be risqué


secs #45

project description

Secs …indulge yourself in infinite distraction.


Saturating your senses with innuendo and irony inspired by pop art, Secs is your wildest distraction–the new shiny vibrator in your degen, generative art collecting lifestyle. Stick it in, turn it on, and try not to blink. Drawing inspiration from the kinetic wit of pop art, Secs will hammer you all night (and day) long with unpredictable outputs every few seconds.


This playful nod to the ever-changing, rapid-fire nature of NFT collecting and the attention economy derives from our collective fascination with the novelty of the new.


Just as we experience, interpret, and appreciate art in our individual and uniquely transient ways, Secs embodies that same fluidity and whimsicality. It toys with the concept of immediacy and ephemeral euphoria in a space where our innate senses race towards the next shiny object even before the digital paint dries on the last.


Secs is drenched in cheeky innuendo, imaginative subtext, and flirtatious emojis, not-so-subtly alluding to the intoxicating rush of dopamine that drives both our deepest desires and riskiest NFT collecting.


Where art, satire, and the suggestive intertwine in an infinite supply of Secs.

Let’s go deep, together, into its conception.

This project began when Art Blocks launched "Dopamine Machine" by @steviepxyz. I was irresistibly drawn to the project’s provocative commentary on modern culture, and I immediately decided that my next collection would respond to something that had nagged at me for a long time—the short-term memory of the NFT collecting space.


From the start, I was fixated on the project’s visuals being inspired by pop art, a genre dripping with sardonic takes on societal norms and known for its biting commentary. Before memes, there was pop art—spicy, unabashed, provocative.


I had a broad concept, but I needed a name. I’ve learned that nailing this down early is extremely valuable in giving the project direction and facilitating a fully cohesive project. I softly toyed with continuing my trend of four-letter names, but the options I had conceptualized (2sec, 6sec) felt like a premature ending.


But then, in a moment of euphoria, it hit me... Secs.


(Side note: I love that this was born from self-imposed limitations. It’s a great example of how constraints can encourage deeper exploration and, somewhat paradoxically, unanticipated revelations and creativity. #notSexualAdvice)


With the name set, the vision became clear. I would go all in on the pop art angle by leaning into the sexually explicit adventures of some of the genre’s legends (Wesselman, Ramos, the saucier side of Warhol). And I was pleased that the project’s visual aspects would be just as controversial as the message underneath it.


In the last few weeks of developing Secs, I felt an irresistible temptation to go deeper. I knew–conceptually–that it was missing a critical reference to pop art, specifically an everyday item intricately linked to the current culture. I unabashedly sought chatGPT’s suggestions. It shot out a load of ideas; all I could see was ‘emoji’. It was the perfect happy ending to a months-long rendezvous. But… why?


Emojis are the universal language, the ubiquitous means through which we provide social commentary in modern culture. Integrating them into Secs, a project seeking to do just that, felt like a beautifully ironic final touch.


I imagine that many collectors will be disappointed with the use of emojis in a generative art project. In fact, I’ve already been told that’s the case. But I didn’t create this to be generative art. I created it to be a generative art perspective on pop art. I created this as a means of expression. I created it for myself, for the moment, for the culture.


If Secs makes you uncomfortable, please trust that I – in releasing it – am right there with you. So, here we are… uncomfortable, together, slowly awakening from our post-revelry haze, and slowly getting more comfortable feeling uncomfortable, exposed, and vulnerable. I’m going to take a shower, but you’re welcome to stay as long as you want.

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