What is Digital Sensuality? An Interview with Artist Duo LoopingLovers

Today we are talking digital art. Meet LoopingLovers the Multidimensional Artist-Duo formed by Philipp Ries and Thomas Mayer. Because digital art is still somewhat new, especially in the mainstream, we organized an interview with these two creatives. We wanted to know what it means to create digital art, what NFT means, how differently they play with human emotions, and how they create digital sensuality. Will digital art be the future in fashion and marketing?

For their latest project, which launched yesterday, LoopingLovers and painter Paul Schrader collaborated on their NFT series “Janus”. For that the three artrist created three NFTs, called “Past”, “Present”, and “Future”. “The Janus series symbolizes duality in eternal laws, such as creation/destruction, life/death,light/darkness, beginning/end, future/past.Both sides of duality always elude objective evaluation and are thus neither good nor bad.”

Hey Phillipp and Thomas, please introduce yourself and tell us what your work is all about?

Our names are Philipp Ries and Thomas Mayer, we are both 30 years old, born and raised in the south of Germany and our work revolves around humanoid beings floating and moving freely in digital space, independent of physical restrictions. Central elements are body shapes, balanced colors and textures which, through endless looping movements, convey a feeling through body language and are supposed to preserve it over time.

How did you two meet and decide to create LoopingLovers?

Our paths crossed with the beginning of our studies at the university of applied sciences in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. With our Background in Industrial-, Interaction- & Strategic Design we believe in purity and simplicity. We were always focused on user centric design and form function in class so we adapted them to our humanoid figures. LoopingLovers became a way to break out of the norm and thus create a side project for us to collaborate on.

What’s behind the name?

The name explains itself. Our animations loop endlessly, the name describes our art and our passion for what we do every day. The name is program.

With your art, you juxtapose reality and surreality and create digital sensuality. How would you define digital sensuality?

We are primarily concerned with the visual power of the images, which touch the viewer through the composition in the innermost and become a feeling. With the compositions of colors and body shapes, we want to touch the viewer on a sensual level and create a feeling. This creates Digital Sensuality – a relationship between the viewer and the work of art.

Why do you focus on body language and body shapes in your digital work? What is so fascinating about it?

We have known each other for a long time. I think everyone can relate the part if you vibe with another person. You understand each other without talking and know what’s on their mind. You can think the same and feel the same without talking, just by trusting each other and having a good deep connection.

For me it’s the same with body language. You swap subconsciously or consciously signals which come directly from deep inside of you. Like micro gestures where you don’t have control at all – so this all sounds pretty original and true to me. That’s why I love non verbal communication. It’s real.

Why do you use loops?

It allows us to connect to your emotions and grants access to feelings over time. It has no defined time, with no end. Emotions are endless therefore are a timeless loop. The Loop will form as a time capsule creating a timeless loop of emotions.

How do you decide on motive, details, colors, etc.? Where do you find inspiration?

Loopinglovers gives us a great experimental deepdive into emerging technologies and programs. The biggest inspiration is driven by a fear of stagnation. So we keep exploring the boundaries of our own comfort zone. Getting lost in new workflows while creating surreal worlds without physical limitation is a lot of fun. It’s important that this process of creation feels intuitiv to us. So the Output always represents what we discovered so far on this colorful journey.

Working as an artist duo, do you experience any disagreements? How do your personalities affect your work?

Ever since starting this project back in Uni, we have fully devoted our energy and everything we do around this project. We have been working apart since out of Uni. This has allowed us to bring in different perspectives to the project from the different worlds around us. We are always collaborating with each other, bouncing ideas off each other from commercial projects we may be working on, and bringing new things to table for LoopingLovers.

Can you explain what the NFT space is and how you use it?

NFT stands for non-fungible token. An NFT is a digital proof of authenticity. Copies that circulate on social media do not belong to anyone. That is changing with NFTs. The owner of a digital asset is recorded in the blockchain, and anyone can see this. What initially caught our attention was the community collaborations that were happening. Artists working with other artists, talking among each other, and supporting each other. As always moving into new technology, software opens the door to new ways to explore. Like picking up a new brush and experimenting the brush strokes for the first time.

Which other platforms do you use to showcase your work? Which influences have Social Media on your creativity?

Instagram is the gallery, Twitter is the chat room and Clubhouse is the meeting place. On Twitter we tell the stories behind the works, that’s the basis. We give insights into how the works are created, which is partly very nerdy, because we reveal our working process and discuss it with the community. Since the internet is no longer an option but a necessity in our society, one must also be critically aware of the internet’s impact on society when making things.

Which project of yours was most challenging so far?

In the first place of every project is a reflection process to look at a situation or behaviour from outside. Often our pieces are also a process to understand ourselves better and express inner thoughts we would otherwise not share publicly – for us it’s a way of communication but in a visual way instead of words.

Therefore the “INSIDE” series which is a self collision portrait captured in 3 loops was one of the most challenging. The main concept came up in a very self destructive time of 2019 with heavy working hours, no balance and lost focus. It was the time when I felt dull and moving away from myself. “INSIDE” was the starting point of a more self reflective journey to be more “Tender”, “Gentle” & “Mild” to yourself.

Where do you see LoopingLovers and digital art in general in the next few years?

We aim to do more commercial work as a duo and form a studio to work on projects together. Explore new technologies for art, GPU rendering will progress the future, and see where this leads us. Experiment with new mediums, new technologies, and new ideas in artwork. Right now we are exploring classic mediums such as sculptures. We want to blend the boundaries of traditional art with augmented reality and digital media. Keep any eye out for physical sculptures with digital aspects in the near future.