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Some days I feel like this. I am trying my best to survive these last two months of grad school! It’s been quite the eye opening experience. For those of you who are wondering, I pulled this from #whatshouldwecallgradschool (such a great site). GIFs and memes have been helping me with all the stress. Over the weekend An Xiao Mina (co-founder of The Civic Beat) reminded me that I have to “clean the palette” of my mind. She recommended a good game of Tetris. She was right. Surprisingly, I don’t get addicted to games. It’s just enough to take me out of my rut quite frankly. Working out has actually helped too. More posts in the upcoming weeks. Some exciting stuff has happened and more interesting developments on the horizon. Will write more soon…in the mean time, please feel free to share how you de-stress or what you do when you’re in your head a little too much. I need all the help I can get.

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I am THRILLED to co-present along with An Xiao Mina and Ben Valentine at the Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival. Please RSVP through YBCA’s site here. It will be good times and lots of great conversation. It’s been a great year thus far. Although it’s been extremely challenging to balance work, school, and freelance work, I’ve been handling it without my head completely rolling off and away from my body! Please consider checking out the festival and paying our panel a visit and talking to us. 🙂

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Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival
Sat, Nov 23, Noon–9 PM
Grand Lobby, Screening Room, Third Street Courtyard, Youth Arts Lounge
FREE w/ RSVP

YBCA invites you to participate in a one-day interactive festival in conjunction with the Dissident Futures visual arts exhibit in our Downstairs Gallery. The festival will bring our communities together to explore and investigate possible futures envisioned by artists, urban planners, environmentalists, scientists, robotic experts, designers, programmers, and food activists through dynamic workshops, lectures, performances, interactive media, music, and more.

In the Bay Area, there are a wealth of future-facing projects, involving practical innovations in technology and science. Some of these creative yet pragmatic endeavors are informed by utopian dreams and fueled by a local culture that looks to the future with hope and a predominant strain of optimism at what may come. The worldwide effort to consider and shape the future is being conducted by diverse actors including artists, scientists, teachers, and activists. The breadth of ideas and emergent forms ranges vastly, and given the scope and rising pace of these activities, ideas, and aspirations around the future, it is an exciting time for us to look critically at the participants and the outsiders in this conversation.

We want to bring people together in dialogue with members of our Bay Area community who have the tools to envision a future that expands on the best of our aspirations and builds on our technological advances, but keeps in check negative vectors such as climate change, rising income inequalities, and gaps that exist for power distribution and influence. We want to look at the entire ecology and foster discussions that move us forward.

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Noon: Opening Remarks by YBCA Executive Director Deborah M. Cullinan and Talks by Ray Gilstrap and Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), Grand Lobby

Noon–8 PM: Artist booths by Fantastic Futures, Takehito Etani, Peter Foucault, Young Gifted and Black, GAFFTA, and Institute for the Future, Grand Lobby

Throughout the Day: Food, Music, Performances, and Mini Maker Faire, Third Street Courtyard

1–8 PM: Artist Presentations

1–2:30 PM: Future Cities Lab: Work of Future Cities Lab, Screening Room; Walidah Imarisha: Workshop on Sci-Fi and Social Movements, Youth Arts Lounge

2:30–4 PM: Code for America: Discussion on Open Government, Screening Room; Long Now Foundation: Manual for Civilization and GAFFTA: Creative Technology for Social Good and Urban Prototyping, Youth Arts Lounge

4–5:30 PM: Institute for the Future Fellows: Creating a Future for Good, Screening Room; Green House Project: Urban Agriculture—Rethinking Urban Density, Youth Arts Lounge

5:30–7 PM: InsTED Talks with Jaime Cortez, L. M. Bogad, Bill Hsu, and Jenifer Wofford, Screening Room; Kal Spelletich: Research and Survival in the Arts, Youth Arts Lounge

8–9:15 PM: Video Game Monologues, Screening Room; Dorothy Santos, An Xiao Mina, Ben Valentine: The Honeymoon’s Over—Arts and Culture Criticism in the Age of Networked Power, Youth Arts Lounge

2–4 PM: Performance by Michael Zheng, Grand Lobby; Performances and music by Brontez Purnell, Majo, Pangea F.C., Third Street Courtyard

7–8 PM: Performance by Jenifer Wofford and Kyle Herbert, Grand Lobby; Music performances, Third Street Courtyard

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Dorothy Santos is a freelance art writer, blogger, curator, and visual and critical studies geek. Born and raised in San Francisco, she holds bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and psychology from the University of San Francisco. As arts editor and curator of Asterisk San Francisco Magazine + Gallery, and blogger for ZERO1 and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA), she enjoys writing about artists and engaging with the community. Her work appears in ArtPractical,StretcherCreative Applications NetworkDaily ServingHyperallergicArt21, and Planting Rice. She serves as a board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in visual and critical studies from the California College of the Arts. Her research emphasis is on computational aesthetics, programming, coding, and open source culture and their effects on contemporary art.

An Xiao Mina is an artist, designer, writer, and a technologist. In her research and practice, she explores the intersection of networked, creative communities and civic life. Calling memes the “street art of the internet,” she looks at the growing role of internet culture and humor in addressing social and political issues in countries like China, Uganda, and the United States. Her writing and commentary have appeared in publications such as The AtlanticFast Company,Wired and others, and she has lectured at conferences such as the Personal Democracy Forum, the Microsoft Social Computing Symposium, and Creative Mornings. She is a 2013 USC Annenberg / Getty Arts Journalism Fellow and is co-founding The Civic Beat, a global research group and publishing platform focused on internet culture and civic life around the world.

Ben Valentine is a strategist and contributing author for the Civic Beat as well as a freelance cultural critic, curator, and creator based in Oakland. He recently organized Global Space, a groundbreaking exhibition for the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art on the changing face of the individual in a neoliberal and networked world. Valentine also co-curated the world’s first Tumblr Art Symposium, which included commissioned essays, panelists, and an exhibition on the visual networked culture emerging all over the world, especially on Tumblr. His writing has appeared on publications like HyperallergicSalon, and Medium. He is currently preparing for a residency at the Internet Archive in San Francisco and working on building a Spanish and English Twitter translation platform for citizen journalism across linguistic and geographic borders.

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From the time I woke up to reaching the tail end of my work day and crossing things off my to-do list, I felt compelled to write a post about the frequency I post to my blog. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “Why the hell should I care how often you post? It’s YOUR blog.” True. But as a budding writer and theorist, writing becomes your life. It’s almost a religious experience. If I miss a day or a week of it, I feel incredibly guilty and in need of some major penance for committing the cardinal sin of not writing  (I was born and raised Catholic so pardon the reference). This past weekend, I was talking to one of my brilliant mentors, crystal am nelson, and she reminded me of my “real” work. From our conversation, I gleaned much of the writing where I crave engagement is the writing I’m doing for grad school and the organizations I work closely with. It’s also the research I’m working on to make certain that I’m sharing authentic information and well thought out writing with the public. This past year, I’ve taken a hit for not blogging consistently. It’s a HARD a$$ job to produce quality content. I’m telling you…it’s challenging. Try it.

I will say this, it’s been a joy reading through critical theory (at the moment, my desk has texts from Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Michel Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Vito Campanelli and Brian Massumi) for my lit review this summer and learning so much for new and old friends. I’m trying to find ways to make these texts accessible to the public. Trust me, I’m working on that part, in particular. I feel compelled to document EVERY single thing I learn and start to think, “I don’t need to share…not just yet.” I want you to read quality writing (or about my feelings and emotions around my studies and writings which may or may not be equally compelling BUT I’m trying to foster a relationship with you, dear reader).

So yeah…

The compulsion to share ourselves runs rampant in our digital culture but not so much in real life (IRL). Imagine if everyone shared and liked the way we do online but in real life. Oh boy! That would be pretty wild. The world has changed and there was a point, back in 2011, I blogged everyday so I could become more visible to the public and a create a potential audience. I wanted to experiment with the notion of content creation. In retrospect, it was a great exercise which reminded me that the new is never going to be new enough. Quality writing and thoughtful content actually takes time. But we are led to believe we don’t have enough of it. Similar to the prey of the fulmar chick, the orange sticky oil actually hit my feathers at some point. I was drowning in information. Even through all my current research, I’m realizing how much I don’t know BUT that it’s okay. So after all this rambling, how did I clean my feathers and get some fulmar chick vomit-resistant steel?

  1. I started to realize and remind myself, I only have one brain, two arms, two legs, one heart, and one life.
  2. Accepting I’m not going to understand everything I read and that’s OK.
  3. Sharing my struggles will reach the people they are supposed to reach. I will make the proper connections and create fruitful work with the “right” people.
  4. It’s OK to write pages of crap to work through theory and my own biases…there’s bound to be a gem in there somewhere.

For anyone interested in what I learned specifically from my grad school experience, you can view my virtual notebook here.

Okay, okay…so you want some real news, eh? Fine. This also explains why I don’t blog on a regular basis.

  • The Style Issue for Asterisk SF has gone to press! I had the pleasure of writing about styling firm Retrofit Republic and Bay Area artist Mia Christopher
  • As a part of the Free Form Film Festival team and new site launch, which is JUST around the corner, I’m excited to announce I will be working on the FFFF Extended channel, which will include writing, essays, and critical discussion on new media artworks and experimental film making (forthcoming!!)
  • Recently joined the contributor team over at The Civic Beat founded by phenomenal artist, designer, writer, and culture critic, An Xiao (she JUST spoke at TedGlobal 2013 – So exciting!!) and working on a piece about academic memes and fair wages for academics (forthcoming!!)
  • I will be co-presenting with Hyperallergic writer, Ben Valentine, and net artist Ian Aleksander Adams, at ZERO1 in August!!! The working title for our panel discussion, “The Art and Culture Critic: Examining the Expanding Role of the Writer in Arts and Technology” We are INCREDIBLY excited about this opportunity.

There are other things going on but not anything I can post and make public (yet). So please stay tuned and engage. Ask questions, make comments, and feel free to collaborate if you feel moved. I would love to hear from you. I know what you’re thinking now…”Do you sleep?” The answer: Yes. I’m just better at dodging bullets, putting out fires, and I write EVERYTHING down. 😉 Til next time. Be well.

All the best,

Dorothy

32 ways to stay creative

There are probably way more than 33 ways but this list offers up some great ideas. This summer will be extra busy as I prep for a writing lab/intensive to make certain my prospectus (essentially a breakdown of my master’s thesis) will be in decent shape by the time I start my second year (this fall). Essentially, I’m conducting lit review for the next few months! This process entails reading, research, and a sh*tload of writing (crappy writing for the most part but this is what editing is all about!). I’m going into some really interesting directions, for sure. If you can believe it, I have yet another virtual space dedicated to my observations and experiences about school. But I have yet to update that space since the Fall 2012 semester. I’ll definitely share some academic stuff (i.e., favorite readings from my first year and the top 10 things I’ve learned).

For now, enjoy the list and get creative!!

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Feeling extremely to be one of the 31 Asian-Pacific American writers featured on the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education website! Please see the text below for further details.

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“For Asian Pacific Heritage Month 2013, the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education website celebrates 31 individuals. One for each day of May.

The lives of these Americans are worthy of celebration and further study, which our short profiles hope to encourage. The women and men included are writers, editors, journalists, publishers, trailblazers and change makers. They remind us of the rich contributions Asian-Pacific Americans make and have made in the world of words.

This is by no means a definitive or exhaustive listing. It’s a starting point for learning, comment & discussion during Asian Pacific Heritage Month – May, 2013 when our nation pays a little more attention to issues of diversity. Be heard. Tell us what you think & what we can learn!

You can also visit previous year’s features here: Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month 2012 – A collaboration between the Asian American Journalists Association and the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education; Asian-Pacific Heritage Month 2011.”

Text source: The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education

phdcomic1

Hello Family and Friends,

I can’t believe the semester is almost over. My research papers on the other hand have yet to be completed. I’m still working on them. Not to fear, they will get done. Feel free to send me messages of encouragement and a reminder to be kind to myself. I’m sure there will be instances in the next couple of weeks where I start hyperventilating because, sometimes, I do forget to do this thing called breathing. In any case, if you’re interested, these are the titles for my two research papers:

Engendered Rhizome: Explorations of Embodiment through the Machine

On the Margins: Comparative Analysis of Bohemian Paris and American Hacker Culture and the Emergence of New Media Arts and Computational Aesthetics

Good times! I’ll probably post excerpts when I’m done with the papers. This summer, I’ll be blogging a lot more (the good stuff). Promise. Thanks for reading and, again, feel free to ask me, “Ummm, what the hell is a rhizome?” Trust me, if I can explain it to you, I’ll be happy. 🙂

Cheers,

Dorothy