Sara Ludy is a digital artist originally from California who has an interesting background beyond art. She has done interior design, visual DJ-ing, calls herself a “freelance miscellaneous”, and is also a member of the experimental electronic band Tremblexy.
Her interviews online on rhizome.org and dinca.org provide a lot of insight into who she is as an artist and a person. Most of all, it gives insight into her process, themes, and approach. From each of these interviews, I’ve picked out some of these most insightful questions.
What inspires you?: Carpet tiles, virtual worlds and many many other things.
Work work and artwork: how do you strike a balance?: I don’t.
What is your ideal atmosphere for creativity & creative production?: Working next to the fish tank.
Why is making work important to you?: It’s the most natural way for me to understand my interests.
How long have you been working creatively with technology? How did you start?: I began recording music and experimenting with video in 1994 and using computers in 1998. I got a Tascam Porta 07 for Christmas. I was too impatient to read the manual, so I learned by pressing buttons until it worked. It wasn’t until 1998 when I began recording the video … I learned Photoshop in my high school art class and began making printed books of images I had created.
Describe your experience with the tools you use. How did you start using them?: My computer and iPhone are the primary tools I use. I shoot all photos and video with my phone. I began using the computer for non-linear editing in 2000 while in college. I started with Premiere 5.1 then went on to learn Media 100, then went back to using Premiere. I also learned After Effects and BBEdit a year later. I started to use the computer to make music/sound in 1999 … Eventually I ended up recording instruments using Pro Tools and not using software as much to create sounds.
What traditional media do you use, if any? Do you think your work with traditional media relates to your work with technology?: I draw landscapes and patterns with ink on paper. I’ve incorporated some of these as decorative elements into my digital collages.
Who are your key artistic influences?: Landscapes, music, the home sections of Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Ross/Kohls, http://www.seeingwithsound.com/ , 3D model makers.
Are there any issues around the production of, or the display/exhibition of new media art that you’re concerned about?: Having your browser in fullscreen mode when looking at an artist’s website and/or work is nice.
Next, I dove into some of her work. I decided, since she made such a point of it, that any of her video pieces I would be sure to look at in fullscreen mode.
Dream House and Rooms reminded me of some of the video and computer games I would play growing up in the nineties, where I would either create or be in virtual worlds (The Sims, Webkinz, Mario Party, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Candybar Dollmaker, etc.). The visuals were very similar. The cons to some of these works, Rooms especially, was how nauseated I got looking at it full screen, so seeing this projected on an even larger gallery wall would probably result in me walking out of that piece. However, I found a lot of myself in the Dream House piece and the trend I’ve been following throughout the semester of placing myself in my own fantasy, dream worlds. In that piece, I could see Ludy’s passion for interior design and was able to clearly imagine just how majestic her dream house would be. I instantly wanted to create something similar.
I both enjoyed and disliked her piece Spheres 1-20. Visually, I enjoyed it, because each sphere reminded me of a unique precious stone (It also reminded me of some of the visual effects of my favorite TV show The Flash, but that’s besides the point). The audio is where I had mixed emotions. I found it interesting, effective and pleasing how when each image changed to showcase a new sphere, the audio also changed. But the type of audio itself, that sort of low digital hum, made me feel disturbed and even nauseous. I think if the sound was more traditional instead of digital, this would have been my favorite piece.
Overall, Sara Ludy was able to remind me of some of the visuals of my childhood, and her work was very reminiscent of some of the computer and video games of the 90s, which coincides with the time she was really getting to her work. Artwork that evokes memories or feelings in me is always some of my favorite, so in this sense, Sara Ludy serves as one of my favorite digital artists of the semesters. Additionally, it was super encouraging to read that her work influenced her art, because that is an approach I also take in my creativity: to draw from all other aspects of my life.