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Culture Criticism Observations

Bumper Stickers and Bathroom Walls

Bumper Sticker in an SF Parking Garage

My apologies for the poor resolution and clarity on these photos. I took them using my phone. Typically, I have a steady hand but I was in a hurry (especially taking the bumper sticker shot) and someone was waiting to use the restroom at the café.

I had to post these photos because it reminded me of the alternative ways to communicate with people. Granted, you have a limited audience but these forms of communication will be around for some time (even in this technology-laden age). The bumper sticker and bathroom walls remain a constant source of entertainment and contemplation. I wonder why bathroom walls or bumper stickers are way more interesting to read than virtual interactions? Let’s face it, people post incredibly inane stuff online. I know you’re with me on this one. 😉

Bathroom Scribblings

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, race and technology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. 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. 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, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Ars Technica, 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 program manager for the Processing Foundation.

2 replies on “Bumper Stickers and Bathroom Walls”

I love reading bathroom walls—so much so that sometimes I’m embarrassed by how long I’ve unwittingly spent in the stall. I love imagining who, and under what conditions, penned their confessions of love, hate, or far more banal sentiments.

One other area I think you should cover: vanity plates (AKA my pet peeve).

Oh goodness, Alyse! You totally read my mind!! I, too, dislike (immensely) vanity plates. In the future, I’m certain license plates will be QR Codes, which would replace vanity plates. Whoa…something to think about…

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