Abstract Expressionism Art Art Theory and Movements Modern Period Perception Performance and Conceptual

Understanding Perception, Part III – It’s all in your mind

Modern Math

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines perceive as, to attain awareness or understanding of.

If perception is the way we ascertain awareness, then the frustration for some people who find themselves ‘not getting it’ are probably the same individuals unwilling to understand, right? Well, to my two friends, Justin and Josef, I wanted share a few thoughts…

  • Modern artists didn’t make art to annoy or anger you, trust me. If you’re angry or frustrated, talk it out. One should not be angry over art. Come on, now!
  • Modern and Conceptual art are NOT pointless.
  • Question to DS: There’s a room with nothing but a TV with all these images WHAT is the point of that? Answer: To make you think…sorry, you gotta do this!
  • Do you really want someone to ‘tell you what Art is’? Boo. No fun.

*          *          *          *

I’ve got dreams (idealistic ones) about the art world.

Little by little, I’m hoping to turn the following questions and statements…

“What the hell does that mean?”

“My Kid could do that.”

“I don’t get it.”

“That is not art, it’s stupid.”


“It makes me think of…”

“So, this person was considered an innovator? I’m just curious, how? What was the context?”

“I may not understand and/or like this BUT this is what I see and/or experience…”

“This may not be my type of thing; however, looking at the other stuff around here, someone may say that about a piece of art I, actually, understand.”

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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