VCS-posters-Dorothy

FINALLY! My thesis is done. Please click on the symposium poster image above to access the Graduate Thesis Work 2014 site brought to you by the California College of the Arts. You will be able to read my thesis abstract there and learn a bit more about my overall project. If you want further details or read it (goddess bless you because I have NO idea who would want to read it other than my committee and fellow cohort – because they were required to read it!), please feel free to contact me via the contact form on this blog site or the email provided on the CCA grad site. Thank you!!

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On Saturday, May 10th from 2-4 pm at The Wattis Institute located at 360 Kansas Street (San Francisco, CA), I will be presenting at Strategies for Survival: Discussions on Artist’s Space in the Bay Area. The event brings together local artists, arts workers, and attending audience members and welcomes a presentation of case studies on various tactics implemented by local art practitioners to maintain studies on varying tactics implemented by local art practitioners to maintain a creative practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Participants include myself, Erin McElroy, Emma Spertus, and Mark Inglis Taylor. The event is free and open to the public. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. 
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While you’re at The Wattis, please check out the Many Places at Once exhibition featuring works by Martin Soto Climent, Rana Hamadeh, Li Ran, Cinthia Marcelle, William Powhida, Ian Wallace, and Real Time and Space. The exhibition is curated by the graduating class of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts with the support of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

Performance Piece by artist Ken Becker from Dorothy Santos on Vimeo.

One of your brilliant classmates hacks open a sculptural work during a performance piece. I will be posting more pictures this weekend but one of the graduate wide electives I took this past semester was Sound, Music, and Technology. Ken was in my class and when he proposed his project, it was difficult for me to envision it other than him destroying something he built. Then, the night of our final projects exhibition arrived. We all gathered in The Nave at California College of the Arts (CCA) on the San Francisco campus and watched his performance. Fortunately, I have pretty steady hands and was able to get Ken in action. Watch it and feel free to comment. Personally, I love his piece BUT I’m curious what you think before I start sharing my opinion and breaking it down. Enjoy!

Learning ProTools for audio and MIDI recording
Learning ProTools for audio and MIDI recording

Although wishing for 4 more hours in a day is futile, it probably wouldn’t be enough time for all the things I actually need to do (for work, school, and freelance projects). Yes. Call me crazy. Some of my friends think I’m pretty insane for trying to support a balance between the three but I guess it boils down to the feeling of productivity. I’m constantly thinking and the respite from any scholarly work is probably the gym or taking a walk between classes or walking meditation when I’m at work. In any case, I’m getting back into blogging and will be posting excerpts of work soon. Here are some of the great things that have happened:

  • During winter break, I learned my abstract was accepted as a part of the open panel submission to the Theorizing the Web 2013 (#TtW13) conference! It will be a great time to network, meet academics, artists, and writers working on research specifically about the Web, open source culture, and technology’s relationship to the Arts. I will be documenting my New York adventure on Instagram (deedottiedot), Twitter (@deedottiedot), and tumblr
  • A few days ago, I hosted a Wednesday Forum at the California College of the Arts. The forum is open to current graduate students, alumni, and faculty, interested in participating in a dialogue with writers, theorists, and/or artists actively working in Visual and Critical Studies. I had the pleasure of meeting and introducing Mabel O. Wilson. She now teaches at Columbia University in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Wilson discussed an essay she wrote for a conference on the “multi-cultural city” and meshed architecture, visual culture, and history into such a phenomenal project where she looked at Cabrini-Green (a public housing project that was located in Chicago’s Near North Side). I won’t go into it too much because I will be working on a recap of the event. Such an AMAZING scholar and so incredibly inspiring. She also recently published her book Negro Building – Black Americans and the World of Fairs and Museums (University of California Press, 2012.), which I plan on purchasing. Wishing I had it in hand so she could sign it for me…just means I need to see her again at some point in the future!
  • Through the graduate lecture series at school, my classmates and I attended a performative lecture by DJ Spooky. I snagged (thanks to the help of my dear classmate, Emily!) the book he edited a few years ago, Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture. He even signed it for me. Pretty excited to delve into the text since there are specific pieces that deal with open source and programming and their relationship to music and composing.
  • Asterisk SF’s music issue was released this past Janauary and I had the opportunity to curate a solo exhibition for David Molina! You can read the feature I wrote on his work and practice here.
Snagged a copy and a signature!
Snagged a copy and a signature!

It’s been pretty busy but always quite exciting stuff happening. Lastly, I’m FINALLY taking a grad elective where I can program. The course, Sound, Music, and Technology, gives me the chance to play around with different programming software but learn how to make music in the process. I’m hoping to get my act together at start keeping a journal of the creative process. The image above is something I’m working on for the class. We learned how to make different sound waves and manipulate pitch and noise to create timbres (among many other things). Let’s just say, I have a whole new appreciation for music!

Looking forward to sharing more with you soon! 🙂

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.