Return (#21)

Artist: Aaron Penne

Keep watching that little dot…

Note: here is the link to the actual dynamically changing work, above. Go ahead and click on it to open it in a tab, stare at the center for a few moments, then come back here!

Return is a series of generative art pieces that Aaron Penne did for Art Blocks in June of 2021. When purchased using Ethereum, buyers could mint a unique, one-of-a-kind artwork from this series of 300. All were minted dynamically, upon purchase. Other pieces in the series have less rings, others are monochrome, and some are even square.

Aaron defined this piece this way:

“Return” is a meditation on returning inward, cyclical change, and the beauty of iteration. The composition of each piece slowly loops, providing a new experience for the viewer over time.

What I love about this piece is how subtle it is. It forces the audience to become still for a while, and think quietly as they watch the work transform, gradually. It demands patience, something many of us in today’s modern world will greatly resent. You cannot simply open this in a tab in a browser and expect to see it change if you leave and go back to it — you will only see the change occur if you keep that tab open. Brilliant. If that doesn’t give you a slight smile as you watch that dot in the center get bigger — slowly, so slowly — over time … then just take a breath. Every time I view it, even for a few minutes, I can’t help but leave it smiling.

Eventually (note: potentially hours) the entire cycle begins to repeat itself again. Amazing.

Note to Margaret: hopefully by the time you can read this, we’ll have adequate (and affordable) 1:1 displays (40″ x 40″ or larger) that we can run these pieces on permanently. Maybe we already have one? Go ask you mother.