Art Writing and Criticism

Approaches to independent scholarship

Independent scholarship has been difficult. Navigating through art history, criticism, and journalism without teachers to reign in all these ideas, fellow peers to test ideas, an editor reminding me of a deadline, and/or a project or paper due at the end of a few weeks makes for a challenging approach at scholarly research and constant engagement. Then again, this is MY forum and virtual space. Another issue that has come up for me – creating context. It’s only me writing and it’s the first time I’ve admitted this, publicly, posting every day is hard! Structure and organization are starting to scream feverishly at me and I’m listening.

That said, whoever you are, dear reader (hoping it’s not just you, Mom), you may see some changes in content in the next few weeks. There’s going to be some ch-ch-ch-ch-changes [Insert David Bowie trackTurn and face the strain…time may change me…]. Having scoured some of my favorite online and print art magazines to see what works for me and what doesn’t has been a great exercise. I’ll definitely try to keep things light and fun. After all, this is the space to engage, right? Who knows, I may incorporate a bit more sound and video (hmmm, intrigued? So am I!). There’s gotta be other ways to attract and involve the reader.

I’m curious, for anyone interested in sharing, privately or publicly through the comment thread, what form of media gets you interested and involved (other than Facebook or Twitter)? Art-wise, what questions do you have? What themes or concepts would you like to see covered? I’m trying to approach this independent research in a way to help me fine tune my interests as well, obviously, BUT I always love a good conversation (even if it’s a virtual one). 🙂

By Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, artist, and educator whose academic and research interests include feminist media histories, critical medical anthropology, technology, race, and ethics. She is a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. She received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Her work as been exhibited at Ars Electronica, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the GLBT Historical Society.

Her writing appears in art21, Art in America, Ars Technica, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is a co-founder of REFRESH, a politically-engaged art and curatorial collective and serves as the Executive Director for the Processing Foundation.

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