I am. a female. reproductive. organ.ism

This is the first NFT artwork I’ve ever owned. It is № 30 of the Negative Space Punk NFTs and was given to me by one of the artists of the collective by the same name, whom I stumbled upon in a Twitter Spaces event. It was a gesture of good wishes and intentions for the new year, 2022. And now, in Asian cosmology, the Lunar Year of the Tiger. They gave it to me because in that discussion, they felt that I grasped the idea of why a Negative Space Punk.

This NFT series is a derivative of the original Crypto Punks. The idea is to reverse the composition: instead of the original Crypto Punk’s pixelated visage against an empty background, a Negative Space Punk has an empty face against a collage as background.

When the artist came up on a Twitter Space stage to shill their project, the concept of an empty face against an explosion of a visual background gripped my imagination. To me, this is what is happening in the NFT art sphere right now: a never ending stream of crypto/nft artworks that clamor for one’s attention. You cannot push or pull anything — because everything is shiny and new, everything holds promise. So when the creator came up on stage to talk about negative space, it was the clearing that my cluttered mind needed to understand: that there is an infinite blank space inside from which a creator can start — or start anew — in this dizzying but exhilarating new realm. In the NFT art world, a creator is (once again) a tabula rasa: a blank slate from which all possibilities may emerge. A new beginning in an old world, in whatever stage of life — or progress — the creator may be.

As my neurodivergent son, who is not familiar with the Crypto Punks NFTs, passes by and sees the Negative Space Punk on my laptop screen, he exclaims, “Oh, is that a female reproductive organ?” I quickly laughed at the unexpected response, then paused, then asked and answered, “Yeah. Why not?” As creators, we are really re-creators. When we refer to a new start as being a blank slate, it is never really a blank slate. Seeds of ideas have appeared and reappeared — many from other creators — on our tablets. These ideas have sprouted in our incubator minds, only to be stamped out, or allowed to wither in self-doubt, drowned in the clatter of pots and pans, relegated to the walls or cellars, behind and under the calls for “mom,” “daughter,” “wife,” “grind worker,” before we finally allow that one idea to germinate and grow into perceptible existence, even as we muddle through the same everyday spaces of our existence as women.

Yeah, why not — creation is re-creation is production is reproduction. It is symbolic on this particular level: I am a woman who is no longer of reproductive age , but I can — especially now — certainly (re)create from the negative space of my symbolic womb. I can (re)create from that negative space — that clearing —in my mind, my life.



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su layug / DiwaPH

su layug / DiwaPH

Writer. Translator. @NPR poems. My home/office faces Lake Michigan: the NE window reminds me of vacation, the E window reminds me of the dreaded Manila floods.