Algorithmic Angles with lulu xXX

This is the very first edition of the Alpacawhal interview series A Couple Minutes on Crypto Art, where we talk with brilliant and emerging crypto artists.

For this inaugural chat, we could think of no one more cool to rap about crypto art with than the hard rockin' lulu xXX from Paris, France!

Alpacawhal: Can you tells us some things about your life and artistic journey thus far?

lulu xXX: Well. I'm a CGI artist and supervisor. I work mainly for VFX in feature film, commercial, and clips. I'm art directing also a lot for clients directly, and directed a few productions. I'm also very technically minded so i sometimes supervise complicated stuff.

luluxXX is a personal project to .. let say experiment with no creative boundaries that I experience in my job.

I stumbled upon neural networks in late 2015 and initially I wanted to give artistic feedback to the developers. I started a YouTube channel for that. Rapidly it was more fun to create weird stuff with it so I did, and it started to grow a (modest) audience.

Artistically it's very hard for me to define what I do. I usually start with technical problems and along the way, while testing and debugging, switch to artistic things.

I'm not calling myself an artist. I found this definition on Dada relatively correct: digital experimenter.

Alpacawhal: Very cool, digital experimentation can be so liberating. You have shared some GitHub repositories to a GAN algorithm implementation or something like that in the community. Do you do a lot of programming then? Is it all in Python?

lulu xXX: Python, Perl, C++ and whatever is needed. I'm a fast learner.

I'm working with 99% open source. Just using Houdini for CGI (which is unreplacable with FOSS software) otherwise, Linux and GitHub repositories. I have more than a hundred forks there, so I kinda build my own pipeline along the way, which makes me super fast (when I'm not too high. 🤣)

Alpacawhal: Nice! Have you ever experimented with tools like NodeBox or Processing?

lulu xXX: I did a little bit of processing but switched to C++ very fast. I steal a lot of processing code though. I'm a biiiig lover of generative art. I find it fascinating. I'm a sunday afternoon programmer and some guys there are absolutely brilliant.

"I'm not calling myself an artist. I found this definition on Dada relatively correct: digital experimenter."

lulu xXX with yrdgz. "Summer of Crypto," 2020 (KnownOrigin)

Alpacawhal: Ahh yes, big fans of generative art here too, and especially Manolo ide specifically! In terms of actual algorithms though, which are useful to your digital experimentation— do you have a favorite one? What is it and why is it your favorite?

lulu xXX: No favorite algorithm. I'm bored very quickly. For still frames I'm using Gimp and a lot of custom code for triangulation , pixelsorting (I agree I use it a lot lately) and all kind of stuff. I use them as start layers then I usually composite or paint myself on top.

For moving frame style, transfer is definitely my favorite, but I'm always trying to bend it to another direction. I have several algorithms running and a loooot of custom code to make it easy to use.

I love playing with motion vectors. I'm fascinated by the idea of mixing realistic motion with abstraction. It's really about that. When entering crypto I understood loops were very important. So i did a lot of code around that (I shared it with the community, but I guess I'm the only linux user out there). Now I spend a lot of time trying to find a way to loop unloopable things— its very funny and relaxing.

Alpacawhal: How exactly did you discover crypto art?

lulu xXX: Crypto art. I was intrigued by it, but frankly the art was so far from my taste. It was a bit brutal, but I saw the energy and felt that something was rockin' hard. It was in the first month of 2019.

As a CGI artist I was entitled to super clean work and as a VFX supervisor, a badly aliased pixel was identified as a fail. Plus, I had no idea what crypto was. I was contacted by MaxOsiris soon after that and he proposed to me a collaboration. I thought it was a good way to perhaps enter slowly into the scene. It's very funny because Max was so fast and it had to happen in the hour. I was thinking weeks.

Then, I did my homework and when the confinement (lockdown) started in France, I plunged.

"Now I spend a lot of time trying to find a way to loop unloopable things its very funny and relaxing."

Alpacawhal: A lot of your art features female performers from film, music/DJs, and so on. Would you say that those are common themes in your art? Why these themes?

lulu xXX: I'm obsessed by beauty and the way it can be identified especially in faces and body. The power of an eye contact or body silhouette. I'm passionate about photography and photograph a lot myself. I have a personal collection of b&w photography from the 50s and 60s. I download between 50 to 100 pictures a day. My image folder contains more than 80,000 pics. When I find inspiration, I go through it. I had the chance to meet people in the space who let me access their personal photography for portrait or inspiration. I use some of mine too. sometimes I just steal from the 'internet soup' and try to be as transformative as possible.

I also love erotic photography and art. as long as it's tasteful. These things talk to other part of your brain and I love playing with that. I enjoy the way other artists play with that. I find it very refreshing. It's a change from the Bitcoin and Ethereum symbols. 😂

lulu xXX. "new life. #9," [detail] 2020 (KnownOrigin)

Alpacawhal: Agreed that the female form is certainly more appealing than cryptocurrency logos and we appreciate your passion for photography. One last question— if you could say anything to the crypto art world that your art is not already saying, what would it be?

lulu xXX: I'm a newbie here, and sort of doing it like an addict.

I'm creating to not kill myself and I'm collecting because it fills all voids when you're scared and insecure. I guess right now, we are all a bit like this.

I'm just throwing my stuff out there and trying to make something happen.


We hope you enjoyed A Couple Minutes on Crypto Art with lulu xXX, and make sure to share this with a friend if so and donate to Alpacawhal.

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