Each week we will be highlighting the artists for Digital Graffiti 2016. Join us and learn about these incredible artists from all over the world. This week, we’ve got a Q&A with artist Linda Loh from Melbourne, Australia.
Artist: Linda Loh
Current Residence: Melbourne, Australia
Piece: Lure and Burner
Have you participated in other projected art exhibitions? Where and how did location play into the work?
Yes, twice, both local in Melbourne, Australia. One was the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, which is a historic old street in inner city Melbourne with a dynamic social history. My work made the best of the ceiling and the wonderful textures of the old bluestone walls of the site I was allocated. I also participated in White Night Melbourne, an all-night dusk-to-dawn arts event where projections activate spaces all over the city. My work was shown in what might otherwise be considered “dead non-space”.
How much technology is required to create your work? If you didn’t have it, would you still be able to produce it?
It depends what you mean by technology! Many of my works started with a point and shoot camera, but it was digital, so that is “technology”, but certainly not the stuff of “high end” equipment, that “gear geeks” use.
I always feel my works use technology but in a clunky way, which itself becomes part of the work. I don’t want to be attached to acquiring the latest stuff, and feel I should be able to make good work within the constraints of what I have. I certainly use video editing software now, such as Premiere Pro, but not in sophisticated way. I only relatively recently acquired a “grown up” camera (DSLR), which itself is becoming obsolete in video art and digital capture.
My aesthetic is probably not oriented towards the slick and sleek, which much projection can be, especially if it is made with a “designer aesthetic”, as opposed to a visual art orientation. Which isn’t to say I’m not seduced by some work by favorite artists who use the amazing high res cameras such as those made by Red. I could not make my work without my pieces of technology, perhaps I would be painting instead, but that means accumulated physical stuff that would take up space in the loft.
Give us examples of where you see projected art headed.
While the potential for large scale was one of the factors that first drew me to projection, I am now less concerned about that. I imagine my work being shown in a combination of art galleries, public spaces and perhaps spaces where you least expect. I want to pursue the themes of elusiveness and ephemerality, and I am hoping for my work to be contemplative and mesmerizing, perhaps transporting people to a psychic space that is unfamiliar and unavailable in their everyday lives.
What do you find most remarkable about projected art?
There are parallels between digital and projected art that align with my philosophical and psychological interests. The very word “projection” is used in some fields of psychology, and I am interested in how humans are attached or not attached to their sense of identity, and their material possessions. These attachments, when examined, are not “real”, and once they dissipate, what is there then? Digital and projection art is somehow a metaphor for this elusive nature of “self”. I’m also interested in the relationship between these ideas and the phenomenon of humans being so drawn to light and luminosity.
What sparked your interest in digital art and how long have you been creating it?
Before having a digital camera, perhaps in the early 2000s, I was drawn to taking close up photographs of the TV, embracing all the moire, and grid effects of the interlacing / Gaussian patterns of the old CRT screens. I would pause programs we had recorded in sections that caught my eye, and snap away. It was the luminosity, and intensity of the colors, I was drawn to, as well as the patterns and forms. I had prints of these photos, but didn’t really know what to do with them, even though I knew I wanted to take them further. I had a scanner, but it was when I eventually learned Photoshop and video editing, that I could see a way ahead with the images, and the process was launched.
At art school I was also doing painting, and found myself unhappy with my works, but drawn to photographing (and later videoing) the parts that I did like, often tiny sections, still wet, which created luminosity. I would then digitally manipulate them, bringing out new colors and forms. It was also there where I first got to project these images, and that was a transformative leap for me—the potential of the scale and luminosity was so exciting. It was around that time that I got ideas for my first show in 2011, which had moving projections of painting based work filling a huge long narrow room. I probably haven’t had ready access to such a powerful projector since then, and at the time, I took it for granted.