Hexagones - Art for Bots by Rev Dan Catt was playfully stealth-dropped on fxhash as a follow-up to A Slight Case of Overbombing — a project Catt had released just four days earlier.
Despite Catt describing Hexagones as a “quick and simple” creation, do not be deceived, for there is an astonishing diversity to the collection. Moreover, there are endless narratives for reading the project's message. Perhaps Hexagones is a nod to the "PFP" (profile picture) craze in NFT culture, and how Twitter responds to it. Or, is it a concept piece playfully addressing the ‘bot’ issue that wreaked havoc on fxhash during its beta stage? In any case, you can also enjoy Hexagones as a tastefully executed piece of Op art.
Hexagones consists of three to nine isomorphic cubes that grow and shrink according to unique speeds. Each cube has its own color space with bright and dark sides around a center, implying depth and dimensionality. Their apparent spatial movement results in smaller cubes vanishing behind or within larger ones, giving rise to infinite permutations. About half of the collection's 64 editions have three or four such oscillators, while the other half has between five and eight – and a single rare piece contains nine.
The isomorphic projection of the oscillating cubes makes our very vision oscillate between seeing solid or hollow bodies, and between cubes and hexagons. Does seeing cubes distinguish us from the bots? What would a bot see?
Some variations create the illusion of dissecting static cubes while others retreat and protrude in rippling cascades. We find ourselves looking at our looking, perceiving our perception. In the presence of great art, we become more present to ourselves.
But there is also a symbolic dimension to the idea of flip images: You could well read Hexagones as some kind of science-fictional eye with pupil and irises always in motion. And suddenly, that PFP is staring back at you as if you were the retina scanner. Who's the bot now?
This question, already implied in the title, is also reflected in the pricing. The release price of 0.16 tezos is impossible to undercut, so first minters can't help but flip for profit. What's more, a 16 tez resale books the seller the fabled 100x profit. A few days prior, 16 tez was the mint price of Catt's Overbombing project. Can you resist such a purchase, even though this is art for bots? Again: who's the bot now?
Finally, from a purely aesthetic perspective, the collection has a handful of standout pieces: There's Hexagones #58 with its nine layers, now back in the artist's possession. I couldn't resist #25, the only eight-layer Hexagones that stands still for seconds on end when its inner-cube surpasses all others in size, only for the piece to fracture back into agitated complexity.
Whether bot (or not), have a look. You might get a reflection of yourself in the process.