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! 🙂

Yup, that's right, it's YOU!

This is going to be one of those really personal posts. It may or may not have anything to do with art but indirectly, it will. There may be a sprinkling of frustration with a dash of cynicism. Just going to free write and hoping to edit as little as possible. I’m sure there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it’s a Trompe-l’oeil painted light. I’ll take anything to keep my spirits and motivation going this year!

People have asked what I studied in school or what I’m studying* when I tell them I have an art writing blog. As encouraging and delighted as people get, it’s becoming more and more apparent that I can no longer be a patron of the arts. Sure, I went to art school for a couple of years (a few years after graduating from college and working steadily) and found out it wasn’t the environment for me. I needed more and I wasn’t getting what I needed – critical dialogue and a way to frame my thoughts around art theory and history. I tried to do graphic design and illustration to be ‘practical’ about the arts. None of my logic around studying those disciplines worked. At the moment, I’m about half way done with my post baccalaureate certificate from the UC Berkeley Extension but I’m afraid that hankering for grad school (specifically, environments where I can study Visual Criticism, American Studies (emphasis on Art), Critical Theory and the Arts, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera) will persist. Essentially, navigating around where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going has proven to be quite the task. A friend put it best the other day, I’m reaching a crossroads and trying to figure out the best way to be engaged with the things I do while pursuing my passions. Tough, real tough.

Art, well, is the one thing in my life that’s been a constant [insert violin playing here]. It never fails me (unless you count that time in illustration class where a talented albeit crotchety teacher scarred me for life, no, I’m not sharing details) and always forces me to think critically and see how different artists have imbued their experiences and knowledge into their work so I can have a greater understanding of, well, history, politics, sexuality, culture, tradition, and more. Bottom line: I’m really starting to prepare myself financially and emotionally for separation (from corporate life – not anytime in the near future but within the next couple of years – at this point, I’m not sure). Check in with me a year from now to see where I’m at…

Optimism isn’t the problem. It’s being fearless that has me stuck. Talk about going against the grain! I’ve already taken in Buddhist thinking within my (really) Catholic family. I’m a vegetarian (in a Filipino family). I mean, shrimp and a little bit of pork for flavoring doesn’t count as full on meat!! Going back to grad school and studying art when my family thinks I should have children (well, let’s not even get into that one)… 

Yup, I have no choice but to continue telling myself I’m awesome. A good friend told me once, “You’ve got to be your own #1 fan. At least, you’ve got one”. Yet, the way goals and ambitions are looking, I’m gonna need more than just myself.

* For the record, I double majored in Philosophy and Psychology. Yes, I know, my Mom should have just sent me to art school (just like I begged asked her to).