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Art Art Writing and Criticism Culture Criticism Observations Theory

First Day of School

CCA Architecture Students
I get to look at models (not the tall skinny kind)…

I can’t believe it’s the first official day of school! I feel like a rambunctious kindergartener inside. My first class doesn’t start until noon so I’m checking in with professional and personal tasks and getting settled into my new surroundings. It’s a great feeling being here. One of the first things I did on campus was get the library sticker for my school ID. Since I wanted to ‘hit the ground running’ with research, the first question out of my mouth was, “Are we allowed to request books that are not in the library to be included in the collection?” The school librarian (and I’m sure one of my new BFFs) stated that the students are able to request books for purchase! Nice. Naturally, I wondered, “What is the budget for requests like that?”. In any case, I’m sure a portion of my tuition goes to this library so I better take good care of my resources.

As I settle into my new space, I’m not going to lie, I’m nervous. Taking classes for personal enrichment is great and good. But going into a graduate program with the economy the way it is and learning adjunct professors don’t get paid squat, well, it’s a bit disheartening to say the least. Yet, I believe this is the right path for me despite what the naysayers think. Besides, I’m looking at an emerging field – new media and digital arts theory. Exciting stuff! Finding new friends, discovering artists, meeting scholars, and reading books (and more books) about this new territory is daunting but I know I’m in the right place.

Bottom line: Having the support and the tools is great BUT it matters how you go about using them. It’s also about taking the onus for my success and failures and turning them around to make even bigger and better things (whether it’s writing, collaborative work, or helping build an organization). I will continue to use this space, primarily as a writing portfolio and sharing the exciting events happening at some of my favorite places (including ZERO1, GAFFTA, SOMArts Cultural Center, and Art Practical), which I will be sure to post. Also, with my recent trip to Phoenix, Arizona, pictures will be in the near foreseeable future (as soon as I can get them uploaded)!

If you are curious about my academic life, check me out over here.

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.

8 replies on “First Day of School”

Have a great first day of school D! I am so proud of you and can’t wait to see you blossom in your program. You are right where you are supposed to be 🙂

Thank you, Gigi! You’ve definitely been a part of my support system since day 1. As crazy as I am, you STILL support the million things I do. I, certainly, see you as an inspiration. Thanks again, G!

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