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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.

fulmar

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

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!

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I know, I know. I’m killing you with cuteness, eh?

The Internet sure does offer some pretty awesome stuff. But the digital age has me living four lives (work, school, personal, and freelance). Every now and again, I need a cute kitten picture to help me get through all the theory, the spreadsheets, and freak-out moments, and community work. I stay busy. Thinking about the past year, I’ve done a lot of growing up. Even my voice has changed. I’m not so scared to speak up and no longer speak with trepidation. Next week will, officially, mark the end of my first year of graduate school. Although the first semester was marked by extreme sadness with the passing of my grandfather during midterms , acquiring more personal projects, and a recent move, it has been an incredible time of learning, self-reflection, and growth. Who needs sleep when there’s so much to do? Right? Side note: For the record, I do sleep (I get about 7 hours a night, please don’t ask how, I just do).

I’ll tell you about my projects and post regularly as soon as the summer hits. This was just a quick note to say everything is going well and like kitty, I’m bright-eyed and ready for the whatever comes my way for the rest of the year.

Love and terabytes,

Dorothy

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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

The Sky is the Limit

Yes, folks! I’m still here but with the constant rush of my day job, school work, reading (A LOT), and writing (A LOT), it’s been challenging to find the time to just write an entry to say hello and share some really good stuff. As a reminder, if you’re interested in following along through pictures, visit my other virtual home here. Essentially, my tumblr and Instagram got married some time ago and they’re inseparable! I will get back to posting some updates soon. There is SO much going on and a lot to share. I’ll have tons of polished writing in December as well. Despite the challenges and transitioning into a student these past few months, I know I made the right decision and working my way through it all with a bunch of talented people.

Okay, I’ll get going but for anyone out there, I’m still breathing through all of the breathtaking things happening. Most importantly, thank YOU for taking the time to read this. ❤