The panel at ArtUp and ArtPractical’s “Re-engineering: Arts and Tech in the Bay Area” (photograph by Joshua Kim

SAN FRANCISCO — As fleets of shuttle buses take employees to their respective Silicon Valley campuses, resentment and tension grows in the Bay Area. Last week, protesters blocked one such Google bus in an effort to draw attention to the widening gap between the technology industry and the communities it affects; a union organizer impersonated a tech worker to incite dialogue through performative gesture. Within days, further demonization of tech figures, like the entrepreneur Greg Gopman — guilty of making crassly disparaging remarks about the Tenderloin area of San Francisco — continued to fuel divisions across the city.

In an effort to broaden and expand the conversation, ArtUp, a “community blog, meetup and monthly grant,” partnered with online magazine Art Practical to host the “Re-engineering: Arts and Tech in the Bay Area” event at Ratio 3 gallery in the city’s Mission district on December 11. The night started off with a panel discussion between Anthony Discenza, Josette Melchor of Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA), Olof Mathe of Art Hack Day, and Dena Beard with the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. [Read the rest here]

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of co-presenting on a panel with An Xiao Mina and Ben Valentine. Below is my excerpt of the full write up by all three of us published to The Civic Beat! Exciting!! Please feel free to share thoughts and comments. Or feel free to connect with me via Twitter @deedottiedot

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After the wonderful opportunity of co-presenting with Ben Valentine and An Xiao Mina of The Civic Beat, I have to admit, I actually looked up the term “honeymoon period.” The good ole internet actually provided two distinct definitions. Apparently the honeymoon phase for diabetics signals the start of insulin treatment while the Urban Dictionary states, “The three-month maximum period between a person’s entry into a new situation and a person’s complete screwing up of said situation or essential elements of it. This phenomenon is backed by massive amounts of studies in social psychology and even more massive amounts of personal testimony from bitter, angry people.”

The second definition sounds about right. But this reliance on the internet for research needs, a good laugh, and engaging in human rights activism has some disadvantages to it as well. Taking into account the very name of our panel, we tasked ourselves the tough question of whether the internet utopian vision and ideologies of the earlier internet still rang true today. We had three different ways to discuss the question. Not so surprisingly, I answered with a desire to not forget the body and our sensations. From social networking to internet bots to memes, my plea to the audience for the evening was to not forget our sense of self and body in this highly mobile age.

While technology moves at a feverishly rapid pace, we may find ourselves lost even before we figure out the best way to look, research, and obtain exactly what we need. I decided to focus on how new media artists use the internet and mobile technologies that incorporate the body somehow. Whether through augmented reality or applications to actually embodiment of a fictitious or mythical character or creature online, I found myself interested in how new media artists are dismantling such ideologies.

During the presentation, one of the individuals I focused on was new media artist John Craig Freeman. He uses augmented reality in his artistic practice, which is heavily used by advertisers to overlay landscapes and buildings with branding for marketing purposes. But Freeman uses this technology to interrogate the politics of space. Essentially, anyone with a smart phone and the internet can find out about the objective and purpose of each of his interventionist projects.

For the past year, I have examined his piece, Border Memorial: Fronteras de Los Muertos, which enables a viewer to download augmented reality application Layar. Once downloaded, the user has the option of travelling to specific locations, in this case, the US Mexican border, and holding their phone to the landscape. Calacas or skeletons appear on the screen. These serve as markers to specific spots within the landscape where the remains of migrants attempting to cross the border have been found and identified.

Now, I don’t want to end on such a sad note but you’re probably asking yourself why I’m so interested in addressing the original question or problem statement with emphasis on such a tricky concept of embodiment. Quite frankly, the word alone makes me feel like I’m falling into an abyss. But it also reminds me that the internet has a way of making us forget about our bodies and our senses. Rather, it amplifies this need for us to only focus on vision.

Perhaps, my academic research and investment in in real life (IRL), physical activism prompts me to try and strike this unending balancing act. While I straddle the lines of loving and hating the internet, I’m forced to have a relationship with it. So I wonder if there was ever a honeymoon period to begin with? Am I not in the dating phase of still getting to know this rhizomatic entity that continues to excite yet infuriate me? Ha! Sure sounds like one a rewarding relationship and like any relationshipone that takes A LOT of work to understand.

Full write up can be read here.

I can’t believe it has taken me a month to post anything! There has been so much activity to report as well. I had the opportunity to visit the Headlands Center for the Arts with my cohort. It was a great experience seeing the artists studios, meeting Satch Hoyt, and Todos Por La Praxis during our visit. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day. Enjoy!!

Pictured: Overturn the Artifice, a 2013 Commons Curatorial Residency Exhibition, photo by V. Crown
Pictured: Overturn the Artifice, a 2013 Commons Curatorial Residency Exhibition, photo by V. Crown

ATTN: BAY AREA ARTISTS & CURATORS!!

SOMArts Cultural Center is now accepting applications for the Commons Curatorial Residency program!

Artists/curators selected for exhibition funding receive project grants up to $3,000, exhibition space in the SOMArts Main Gallery, installation, technical and event production support, and community engagement/public relations support valued at $23,000.

Want to learn more? RSVP for the first information session, Monday, September 23, 6:30pm. Please click here for further details.

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The Music Issue features | David Molina (Art) | Dan Dion (Art) | Michael Musika (Literature) | Afterlife (Style) | Vacation SF (Style) | Old School Cafe (Dine) | Urban Bedrooms (Design | Home)| Foggy Notion (Design | Home) | The She’s (Music) | Emily Jane White (Music) | Divisadero (Community) | Pinball Museum (Beyond SF) | Bakesale Betties (Beyond SF) | Rose Gold (Feature) | Vinyl Peddlers (Feature)| Om Records (Feature) | Karaoke Masters (Feature) | BART Musicians (Feature) | Radio Habana (Nightlife) | Nightlife Photos | Bells (Music) | Judgement Day (Music) | Silver Swans (Music)

Hello Family and Friends!

I am curating a solo exhibition for musician, composer, and artist David Molina. He is featured in the upcoming issue of Asterisk SF Magazine. The show will be wonderful and it is his first gallery exhibition in San Francisco. With over 17 years of composing, music and instrument making, sound installation work, and theatrical production work, we are extremely happy and excited about his upcoming show. Please read the curatorial statement below and join us on January 17, 2013 from 7-10 pm!!

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Join us for our first event of 2013 in celebration of the Music Issue and the opening of Transience: The Work of David Molina. An exhibit on the art of sound.

CURATORIAL STATEMENT
Transience provides a retrospective look at David Molina’s theatrical scores and music compositions as well as his collaborative works with Bay Area artists including Garrett La Fever, Mickey Tachibana, Cause Collective, Susie Valdez, Victor Cartagena, Violeta Luna, Roberto Varea, and Anna Geyer. The exhibition presents existing and new interactive works such as Memory Web, which showcased at the 2012 San Francisco Fine Art Fair. For this particular exhibition, Molina will be presenting his latest interactive work, Rusting Souls, which entailed a deconstructing and reconstructing of the Cimbalom, an instrument originally from eastern Europe.

Spanning Molina’s installation works to a comprehensive discography, Transience assembles a collection of intricately re-imagined instruments, such as Homage to Musee Mecanique: A Game Of Time, The Chimes of Seven Spells, The Broken Heart Sings, a plethora of parts pieced together to create a multifaceted and unique experience of sound.

Hearing has the capacity to command our being by forcing us to listen and understand the world. The imagination works in conjunction with sound allowing us to envision our environment or awaken a long obscured tale. The works in Transience seek to envelop the listener into narratives and a tactile experience of music. With no specific starting point other than the listener, the exhibition emerges as a study of contemporary music making and how stories can be told through beautifully and meticulously strung notes by the artist-musician’s hand. Transience is an examination of how music affects our understanding of personal histories and interactions as well as our perceptions of sound.

– Dorothy Santos, Arts Editor + Curator