MacTuiTui (Alexis André)

Alexis André

Alexis André aka MacTuitui is an NFT Artist living in Japan. He’s been creating generative art with a natural influence for several years. Alexis is doing every day a piece of art which he is publishing on Instagram, minting some of them. Once a month he also tries to mint a ‘bigger’ piece. For one of his latest curated series “720 Minutes” on Art Blocks, he aimed to create not only something beautiful to watch but also wanted to create something useful. So, he combined generative art with a live component: “time” and created the first NFT Art clock ever dropped.

NFT Granny: “Would you be so kind and explain to me, a silver surfer in her best years, what on earth NFT Art is? I have to be honest, I use my computer exclusively for email and – of course – I love to play bridge.”

I have two ways to explain what the whole thing is about. 

The first one is: If we think about the Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre in Paris. Everybody knows it. Everybody can access the piece and look at it. Everybody can see the piece and you can download a picture of the Mona Lisa. But none of this lets you become the owner of it. The Mona Lisa is owned by the museum. If you want to buy the Mona Lisa, you can ask the museum, and surely pay a lot of money to buy it. That is basically what an NFT is: you can own it, but anybody can still see the piece. 

The other thing is the security/transparency of the NFT. So, if you play Pokémon and you have a rare one. How can I trust you that this is a rare one? Can you prove that you have a rare one?

The answer might be: the game defined that it is a rare one. But maybe you have a fake copy or what not? Can you prove that you have the rare one in a way that is trusted? On the blockchain, you can. With an NFT you know exactly where it is coming from and the whole history of its past transactions.


How did you first become interested in art and how did you get started with it yourself?

Alexis André: I wish I was able to draw better when I was young. Honestly, I really suck at drawing (though I did not take the time to get better). 

But I was always interested in the idea of using computers to help me compensate for the fact that I‘m not able to draw. 20 years ago, I was doing some VJ Sets for electronic music and for me, that was my first exposure to using a computer to create visuals. To create with computers something that has an artistic value. And then when I reached the point where I was looking for ways to program graphics in a more generative way, I found processing ( and the whole community behind processing, it really blew my mind at that time. 

John Maeda, Ben Fry, Robert Hodgin, all artists which were already active in the scene during those times and also a lot of those people who were active since the good old flash days. And flash was mostly designed for designers, who wanted to do things a little bit more interactive. But since I come from a programming background, processing was the entry gateway for me. That was how I started more than 15 years ago!

Who or what are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?

Alexis André: Recently it is, on the one side, really a mixture of all the social media feeds I am scrolling through. It provides a never-ending stimulation somehow. You always get new ideas by seeing what other people are doing. 

And on the other side, what is interesting especially in generative art is nature inspired processes. If you have something that looks a little bit natural – but it is of course a simulation – you can always cheat and make it unnatural by pushing the settings to the extremes. And that is when it becomes directed in an artistic way that you create something that is a little bit more interesting than just a simulation. 

The last part is of course looking at traditional artists. It always helps you to find a different way and perspective on things. Recently I found a pottery artist that worked with different layers and different types of clay.  He just cut into the top layers so you are able to see all the different layers underneath. Suddenly you also think about layers in a digital way. How to integrate this into a digital art piece. There is a lot to learn by just looking around.

Have you been active in the offline art world?

Alexis André: I have been doing a lot of interactive installation art for events. In fact, before the NFT scene appeared with the explosion of digital and generative art, I was doing mostly live performances or installations. Once, I did this collaboration with a crazy acrobatic rhythmic gymnastics team here in Japan.

And when you work with amazing performers (musicians or athletes) I guess the question is how do you enhance something that is already there? By using technology and projection! So this was offline but still using technology.

Are you a fan of the offline art scene?

Alexis André: Well, it depends on how you define offline.  For example, I like Shohei Fujimoto, a light artist (and other types!) from Tokyo who is doing these crazy installations: one that I will never forget is a room that is basically a cube, maybe 6 meters wide and there is this matrix of moving lights that track you around or create interweaving beams of light that really makes you think about space and how you relate with the space. It is really challenging to think about time and how you can interact with different things. 

And another artist I worked with is the musician Ei Wada. The way he is playing music is so inspiring. For example, he hacked barcode readers and is taking directly the signal out of the reader: by having various barcodes printed in different sizes and by just scanning them he is able to get a working instrument that he plays by ‘scanning’ barcodes. I really like the idea of using technology to create things that were not meant.

When I am looking at generative art one of my favourite artists and also biggest influence is Jared Tarbell. He was one of the first artists that really published a lot of material to learn the processes behind it. Basically, he made a small catalogue of works available for everyone to download and run the code.

It was a way to learn how the masters were programming, the things they were doing and the quality of their work. Even today it is amazing what he did 15 years ago! So, then he took a 10-year break – because he co-founded Etsy – and last year he just came back! The scene was like: Wow he is back, and he is doing crazy work again.

Do you remember the first time you heard about NFT Art?

Alexis André: Yes – actually I do. If you are active in the generative art scene you are following Artnome. Artnome is Jason Bailey – a journalist and art critic and is very vocal about what is happening in the generative art scene.

He was talking about NFTs to some of the biggest traditional galleries at least 2 years ago and he’s been ‘preaching’ on Twitter about NFTs all the time. I have been following him for a long time and after seeing a person who is as knowledgeable as him talking about NFT Art that often – I thought to myself I should really check it out. I guess that’s when I started to think about NFT Art seriously around June 2020. 

It was also in reaction to the whole COVID Situation. In Japan, it has been kind of difficult, as even though I’ve been living here for almost 20 years and have a permanent residence status – due to covid I was allowed to get out of the country but not to get back in (things have now changed for the better).

That’s what got me thinking: if the country doesn’t want me here anymore – what could I do for a living instead of my job here? I thought maybe I could sell my art. But where do I sell generative art? Where do I sell digital art? And then suddenly it came back to my mind: Jason Bailey was talking about NFTs… Let’s try this!

Do you feel a difference when you create the everyday work you publish (e.g. on Instagram) as opposed to when you create your curated projects (e.g. on Art Blocks)?

Alexis André: Well, one is the extension of the other. I cannot say which is which. 

The dailies are the process. I am creating stuff. Sometimes it is really bad, but I don’t care. Because that was the best I was able to do that day and tomorrow I will surely do something better. And if the following day it is still not good – it will get better 🙂 It is really about trying to find new things every day – but also about finding a routine – then you get into the vibe of doing things every day. I have been doing it now for more than 1.500 days, so…. 

When I am doing a curated project, which takes longer to produce, I am not doing it for me. I am doing it for me AND the audience as well. I am trying to find a way to put everything I learned while creating the dailies into a piece that has a stronger message. So that I can say: this is not the process, this is the final result. This is what I am really proud of.

Do you collect NFT Art yourself and if so, which are your favourite pieces?

Alexis André: Personally, when I go to Superare or Niftygateway I don’t like the style of most pieces there. You find a lot of these 3D assets with aesthetics that might have been driven by Beeple. Also, for example, projects where you have one body that is in a different environment.

So, I try to look for other styles that I personally like. Hicetnunc has a lot of generative art which is sold there very cheaply because it is not as established as the big platforms. There I like to get pieces because it is far more accessible and you get some really innovative artists.  And another source is for sure Art Blocks. Because Art Blocks, for me, is the platform for generative art. But if I am being really honest: I have so much to do, to generate. I have so much stuff I want to try, I don’t take enough time to browse and collect. 

The community is super interesting. Interacting with other artists and the whole community is for me the really interesting part of the NFT scene. To collect all these crazy expensive pieces don’t talk to me at all. Beeple is making a lot of very expensive pieces and is huge in terms of media coverage but I am not a huge fan of these aesthetics. But I love however the way he practices. He has been doing dailies for the last 13 years or so! He was a big influence on my starting days. Not the style – but the practice. 

To sum it up: I am not a collector – that is what I wanted to say 🙂

Which three NFT Art pieces of other artists do you like most? And why? 

Alexis André: Frederik Vanhoutte (wblut) is very active right now. I went the extra mile to get a few of their pieces. Then I look around at the very small community of generative artists – I guess – and we basically think around the same ideas mostly. We influence each other. Even if we are not collecting, we are participating somehow. This weird relationship with the community, where you find other artists who interact with you and then you reflect on their art pieces.

That is the process I am interested in. So not collecting per se, but still interacting with the other artists.

Where do you see the NFT Art scene in the future?

Alexis André: There was no real audience for generative art. There is now an audience for digital art. Something that was not really there before. The fact that we were able to reach the people that are interested in that type of art is the key takeaway.

You couldn’t sell a video before – because it was not unique. You had a client who commissioned you a file, but that is not the thing as getting the NFT of the video.  What I think is happening now is even if we are at the end of the first bubble, where the NFT market just went crazy but now it is starting to fall down a bit, the audience will stay.

We are getting more thoughtful of the approach we have. There is so much weird stuff for I-cannot-even-remember-the-price. The market is starting to mature. We will get in a smarter market, which is not just about making quick money – as in the past months.

My long-term prediction is: We found the audience that is interested in our type of art and this is going to stay. The number of artists compared to the number of collectors might not be  really healthy but we all have to do our best. We’re getting closer I guess to the traditional art market. We might need to take a step back and recheck what was actually good and what was not. Focusing on the value of the work and the people.

Which of your artworks are you most proud of?

Alexis André: I would say: it’s gonna be the next one! 🙂 

No but honestly I don’t think that any of my pieces is ‘the best’. I know by experience that I will make something different everyday, today, tomorrow… And by doing enough things that are different – I will eventually do something that is better. That’s also why I am doing the dailies. But one piece which is special to me is the first I published on Superare, called “Road to Nowhere”. You have those shiny lines moving around. That is still something that represents my aesthetics, the type of art I am trying to make. 

Alexis André "Road to Nowhere"
Road to Nowhere
Open in

I also like the generative aspect of all the pieces I did on Art Blocks. You are not just working to tune the algorithm to get one specific piece. You want 500, 700 or even 1000 and it has to be different enough that people find it interesting, yet it has to be good every time. That is something that is completely new in terms of generative art.  This is maybe the biggest lesson from doing this. Suddenly we are thinking not of a piece but of a whole collection. 

Can you tell us more about the story behind project “720minutes”?

Alexis André: Once we were talking in the Art Blocks Discord, and Erick – the founder of Art Blocks – was saying that he sometimes wishes that a NFT could actually be useful. Not something that is just beautiful to look at as an art piece. Something that actually does something. I was like yeah, if we just take the ‘now’ (when the piece is created), I could use the time. And what do you use the time for? Well, making a clock was the first idea. And this is how it started.

Actually, the basic idea of “720 Minutes” was in one of my daily sketches, where you had a very similar explosion effect that happened  every second. I used the same idea. And suddenly everything made sense. I have a NFT that is ‘live’, using the current ‘time’, and that beats every second: a live clock! I then made 720 of them – because there are 720 minutes in 12 hours, so that each one could be associated with a minute, giving you some special effects during that time only.

We just found out of your new project void, which looks so different to e.g. “720 Minutes” – why is the style so different?

Alexis André: My “void” collection is a reflection of the state of the ecosystem.  For example, let’s look at my “720 Minutes” project. If people go through the steps of learning about the piece, going to the live view, going to understand that it is a live clock and having this unique minute of the day, where you have your fireworks, then suddenly they understand the value behind it, they get the point of the piece. But most people don’t go that far. They just look at the thumbnail and they see a bunch of circles, and just discard it.

One really good thing I learned by getting in touch with other artists and collectors was to see how they look at the market. Most of the discussion seems to happen around the thumbnail or just a snapshot of the piece. If you look at the other pieces, for example, Ringers by Dmitri Cherniak, his pieces also work at the scale of a thumbnail, and that’s genius. So, this is something “void” is influenced by. So I was thinking about what I can do, what is still ‘me’ but would work in this context as a small square thumbnail, a constraint imposed by the ecosystem.

I did animations for my first 1500 days. I have not done one static piece during that time. But I am telling you, doing a static piece was easy. It was really liberating: you have all the computing power you want! While creating Void I thought of doing some crazy blur effect and all the stuff I had to use very carefully while doing animated pieces because of how heavy those are in terms of resources. Now I was able to say: whatever! Just blur everything! 🙂 

But seriously, the engine behind “Void” is the same as the one powering “720 Minutes”. It is a bunch of small circles. (I even re-used a few color palettes). The blur effect is the same. But it is more about what makes sense in the static content and what makes sense animated. 

So when I went into blurring the whole circles, I had this idea of doing something either incredibly small – like what you would need a microscope to see – or something huge – such as if you look into the sky and see galaxies.  This is the idea where “Void” is coming from. The empty space in between very small and very big parts. 

Why do you publish some pieces as MacTuitui and others as Alexis André?

Alexis André: I have been using the pseudonym MacTuitui online for more than 25 years. What I found interesting when I entered the crypto art scene was that it is mostly anonymous, right? When I started last summer to publish my own pieces, it was still a lot of anonymous artists. 

But in my opinion, there is still a lot of trust needed to buy a piece of art from somebody you don’t know.  And then suddenly some artists started using their real name to show their art. And for all the pieces I did before in the physical world, I always used my real name. MacTuitui is not really an artist name, it’s more of an ‘online’ moniker for me, but I don’t think that those two are really different eventually.

We are curious 🙂 Would you be willing to share any plans for upcoming projects?

Alexis André: Art Blocks is for me the ultimate place to be. Generative Art is the place to be. The platform is there. The collectors are there. And the community is very interested. The way Art Blocks is being curated right now is to allow only one piece a month per creator, to keep the market interesting. 

It is not a hard deadline for me, but the cycle of doing a new piece/collection every month is very healthy. A new piece every day is my hobby. But doing one collection per month is good. Sometimes I am done in the first week but thinking it over for the remaining 3 weeks. just to polish it further and take it to the next level.  I already have a concept for the next piece, which will be released hopefully in the middle of next month. And I still have 3 weeks to make it even better.

And my long-term plan would be to find a new way to create dynamically generated art pieces. The way Art Blocks is working right now is to publish static generative pieces: pieces can be dynamic/live but the art pieces are not reacting to something. The algorithm has to be completely independent.

I would really like to do something that is a little bit more interactive. Something which could work with other sources of information. Live data from somewhere else, or using the camera feed of the computer for example. Something that is more ‘participating’, with someone else for example. I was doing this before with installation pieces. But if we could do this online and have them as actual pieces where people can contribute, this is much nicer! 

Currently I think we are at a breaking point where a lot of platforms are coming into the market and offering new ways to interact with the ecosystem. So, I am definitely on the lookout! 🙂

How can our readers find out when and where you publish your upcoming projects? 

Alexis André: Twitter for sure. In fact, Twitter is the place to be for all crypto activities. Currently, I am also recreating my own website. It’s going to be mostly an archive of my work. Maybe a little bit more. So that users can have some documents to refer to. To better understand my art. 

What do you feel the moment a project you’ve created dropped?

Alexis André: The feelings are completely different, it depends whether I publish a daily or a complete series.  

The everyday art pieces are really about the process. Their quality is not the main factor here. It is just what I did today. But the project I spent a month or more on – “720 Minutes” was basically 4 months’ work – this is something different. I put my heart in these pieces. But will it speak to people? The dailies are primarily for me. But the pieces I create for you – I really want to connect it with you. It is super different.

When I push on Art Blocks button to open the minting, there are many questions: How many people are going to mint? Are people going to talk about it? How many people are just here to flip? Will people find me in the piece? That is the feeling I have when I push the button. It is so deep in terms of the experience. 

What does a normal day for you look like?

Alexis André: After waking up, I take care of the kids, put them to school, do the daily, catch up on internet socials (Twitter..), then do my usual research work, then take care of the kids, and then when the kids are sleeping I work on the next Art Blocks piece again. 

The time on the toilet is the time where I can think about new ideas. Or when I go for a run, I am offline and really think of what to do. Doing dailies does not give you any break: you always have a deadline and that deadline is today.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Alexis André: The difference between an amateur and a professional is that a professional will at some point say “no, it is enough”. And then, he will ship the stuff he created. An amateur will always say “it is not perfect”, will continue and try to make a perfect piece. And never ship the product! That is something that helped me. “Done is better than perfect”.

Which artist would you most like to work with?

Alexis André: I would like to work with the modern funk band VULFPECK. The music is really amazing. I have absolutely no idea how we could collaborate, but I would like to!

Is there something aside from art or NFTs you collect? If so, what?

Alexis André: I collect synthesisers. Each of them is a modular part of a modular synthesiser. I have really a lot of them! My work is also related to toys. So, I have a lot of Lego. If I tell people I do generative stuff and use Lego for my work, most people don’t understand it, but that’s part of the fun!

Snapshot of Alexis Andrés synthesiser collection 🙂


Update January 2023

Dear Alexis, I am so happy that we re-connected after nearly two years. You were my first interview partner back in time, and now you are the first artist to answer our update questions. Many thanks!

What were your highlights in 2022?

Alexis André: My highlight of 2022 was obviously the release of “Friendship Bracelets”, my collaboration with Erick Calderon (snowfro, founder of ArtBlocks) as a gift for the ArtBlocks community: each wallet that held an ArtBlocks piece at the time of the snapshot was able to mint two bracelets for free. While the original idea was for people to keep one and to give the other away as a gift, they proved to be extremely successful within the community. But that project leads me to Marfa, Texas, for the second anniversary of ArtBlocks. It was my first NFT event, and it was amazing to finally meet the people I have been interacting with for the past few years. It all became real at that moment. We all love generative art and we all share a passion for what we do.

Friendship Bracelets #29
Open on
Friendship Bracelets #11849
Open on
Friendship Bracelets #31596
Open on
What has the bear market taught you?

Alexis André: That art lovers are not speculators. Bear market or not, the people that are in the space “for the art” are still there and they collect what they like.

Do you have a different opinion of digital art since?

Alexis André: I’ve come to realize that we stop at the screen (as in, we provide a digital asset that is shown on “a” screen). Yet we do not control the screen size, where that screen might be, and in which conditions the pieces are shown. There is still so much we can do to improve the presentation of the pieces. Even more interested in bridging digital and physical in ways that provide the best experience to appreciate the art.

Which has become your platform of choice to mint and why?

Alexis André: ArtBlocks really. Since the switch to PoS, the ecological considerations around Ethereum have disappeared, and there is not very much of a reason not to mint on ETH anymore. FxHash however is a very strong platform for the community it has been able to gather, and it is a very open model.

What are your wishes for the digital art world for 2023?

Alexis André: I wish for people to be able to trust their taste a bit more – art is not meant to be universally loved by everyone. Digital art allows the art to reach anyone on the planet as long as there is some internet connection. I hope that artists will find their audience and be able to express what they have to say.

Would you like to share anything else? 

Alexis André: GM. Or GN. Depends.

Alexis André
  • Full Name: Alexis André
  • Date of Birth: 14. April 1982
  • Place of Birth: Paris, France
  • Current hometown: Tokyo, Japan
  • Languages you speak: Englisch, French and Japanese
  • Education: Engineering Degree, Masters in Machine Learning, PhD in Computer Graphics. 
  • What did you want to be when you were a child? As a child I really didn’t think about that. That question came really late. At the end of my PhD.
  • First job: The same as I work now. I do research for a huge Japanese company. I am working on the future of entertainment. How new technologies can be used to create content that is uniquely designed for the consumer. How can we use the generative processes and put them into new contents? How can we create something that just makes sense to you and not the guy next to you?  It is a mixture of generative process, human creation and all the technologies around this.