Thought on language…

Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – German Playwright, Poet, and Novelist

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.

5 replies on “Thought on language…”

It’s very true. Language tends to become invisible a lot of the time, unless we determine to pay attention to it. Knowing other languages, even a little, fosters greater awareness of our own.

Thanks so much for the comment, Stan! I always enjoy learning the etymology and derivation of words in English and other languages. The stories are pretty amazing. I posted the quote based on Tim Roseborough’s latest work called Englyph that entails logographic system of English. I love how artists work with language to change and/or create a visual language that encourages us to wonder exactly how we learn the language we ‘think’ we know. If that makes any sense. In any case, thanks again for the comment! 🙂

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Dorothy. I took a peek at Roseborough’s Englyph work and like it a lot. What you wrote makes plenty of sense! I’ve always enjoyed messing with language too, such as in nonsense verse, or the book spine “poems” I post on my own language blog, which were inspired by Nina Katchadourian’s “Sorted books” project.

Hi Stan! I was looking through your blog. Fantastic stuff! I definitely saved to my favorites and will be reading through it frequently being that one of my research interests involves how artists incorporate language or change language within their art. I’m also looking at steganography. Again, thanks for writing and checking out my blog. Happy to see you’re an editor as well. 🙂 Looking forward to an ongoing dialogue!

Hi Dorothy, thanks very much for your visit and kind words! I think artists sometimes do very interesting things with words and language that don’t always have much to do with writing as it’s generally thought of. It’s a very fertile area.
Bye for now, and best of luck.

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