Print Screen and save to desktop. New way to preserve memories?

 

 True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories. ~ Florence King, Novelist

Having seen Kenneth Lo’s show at the Southern Exposure Gallery this past week, it’s got me thinking about the way we preserve our memories or what we even perceive as memory. To think something is utterly sublime and beautiful one moment can be gone within a second. Lo’s work has stuck with me, really stuck with me since I saw it. Yeah, sure, I have art crushes (lots of them, quite frankly) yet there was something about the every stone tethered to sleep exhibition that put into physical form what I’ve always felt about the nature of the mind in contemporary times. The mind is more scattered and inundated with massive amounts of information coupled with emotions, feelings, experiences, and memories. I swear, sometimes, I wonder how many gigabytes of memory I have. It’s even worse when I’m physically writing or drawing and thinking, “Damn, control-Z!! control-Z!!!” Ah, well, that’s technology for you.

Yes, Mr. Lo has become an artLove. Sigh.

By the way, my girlfriend is fully aware of this affinity I have for Mr. Lo.

With the ephemeral nature of comment threads, twittering, and status updates, the tangibility of feeling seems lost. I believe many humans have this irrational notion of permanence. This foolish idea that things persist. We could get all complicated and I won’t do that but, at some point in our lives, we die. Things die everyday. As Lo shows us, even our exchanges are subjected to a type of death UNLESS we examine them. Maybe, this is why I’m fixated on the work. Death, technology, and social networking rolled up into one? I mean, come on, you don’t think that’s ridiculously and wickedly clever? Well, it doesn’t matter, I think it is and that’s why I can’t stop writing about it, which leads me to the photo I posted today. 

My Mom has impeccable timing (and has given me an excuse to talk about Lo’s work). She felt the need to change her profile picture and let me know. She was sensitive to the fact that I may wonder why our picture (a picture my cousin took of us a few months ago) is no longer her profile picture. Whether this is true or not, is irrelevant. The fact that she was sensitive enough to write was really thoughtful. Do I care if she changes her Facebook profile? Of course not!! That type of decision is left to her own volition BUT the sensitivity expressed was pretty priceless if you ask me. As a matter of fact, the comment thread resulted in this quite heartfelt and endearing exchange. Truthfully, there have probably been hundreds of thoughtful exchanges with friends and family that I have discarded. Now, I’m not going to encourage everyone start print screening and cropping their threads and putting them into scrapbooks (what a surreal thought, eh?). However, I will say this, why is it that art comes to the rescue when people forget that they’re people (living beings for goodness sake)? Why is it becoming so natural to pay less and less attention to the things we say, express, and how we act? Lastly, most importantly, why on earth does my mother continue to use license plate language when leaving me comments or text messages (sorry, Mom, you know how I feel about letter and number combinations in written form)? Only joking…

If she’s reading this, I know she’s laughing.

You Gotta Piece, 2011 (Pen, Marker, Watercolor, rubber stamps) by Dorothy Santos

Ah, the day of heart shaped chocolates, conversation hearts, disdainful people that despise Valentine’s day, and an exchange of love notes…

Truthfully, I absolutely love the day (YES, EVEN when I was single). I just never (ever) really thought of it as a day for couples. The history itself and all the believed legends of what makes Valentine’s Day, well, Valentine’s day has very little to do with romantic love between two people (but I can see and understand where and how romantic love plays an integral role in understanding its history). Again, I’m not going to go through the litany of Heart’s Day history BUT if you insist, you can start here.

This year, I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to create something based on social networking. There were several pre-selected folks but I wanted to see who would respond to my Twitter and Facebook posting of the following:

Want to receive something special (handwritten with hearts and a memory)? Send your mailing address to dorothy.r.santos@gmail.com ♥

Honestly, I was NOT expecting anyone to respond. As I mentioned to someone else, I thought, if lucky, maybe 2-3 people. Seriously, even though I have Twitter and Facebook friends, I wasn’t expecting to receive a slew of home mailing addresses. I had the idea brewing in my head and crossed my fingers. Pleasantly surprised, there were 17 willing participants out of 24 total recipients. I proceeded to cut 4×6 cards, piece them together, draw the human heart, and draw! I worked on this for a few days and had different drawing methods (i.e., drawing randomly on cards, patterns based on my mood, images that had something to do with where I’m from – San Francisco, CA). The result: A blue and red heart made with, well, a lot of lovingly made doodles. Yes, when I was a kid, I was a doodler/scribbler extraordinaire and wanted to re-visit those days to remind people that they’re loved and cared for.

See, art can pump some much needed love in the world…yes, I’m a die hard optimist. Do YOU have a problem with THAT? Didn’t think so. 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day, family, friends, and the rest of the world. 🙂

Being on medical leave (for knee surgery) subjected me to RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate – Thanks, BFF and Google), reading and playing Words with Friends (via my iPhone). Since I love being outdoors, taking walks (anywhere and, sometimes, aimlessly), it’s safe to assume the recuperation period has been challenging and makes me rather talkative when my girlfriend comes over to have dinner after a hard day’s work. Good ole cabin fever starts to make me wonder all sorts of things and was quickly reminded of how I have a connection to people outside of these walls. Whether it’s through social networking, texting, chatting on gChat, posting some random thought, picture, or video on my tumblr, or writing about art; people are bound to know some aspect of my personality even if they don’t know me. Ten years ago, it was a bit taboo engaging in some online rendezvous and perhaps, a bit on the desperate side for those who consider themselves introverts. Nowadays, it’s strange if you’re not connected to the rest of the world. My goodness, if you don’t have a phone, people look at you as if you’ve been in some cave.

I love art because it takes you out of yourself. The displacement that occurs when you go to a museum, gallery, or an art opening is the very reason artists are extremely important in this touch screen interface laden culture. Cristin Norine and Joshua Jay Elliott have created a project examining the effects of technology and the degradation of face to face interaction. Norine will be living in a studio space exposed to the world (well, physically, anyone in Portland, Oregon), for 30 days, communicating ONLY through technology (i.e., Skype, social networking, Face Time, e-mail, texting – you get the point). Consider me intrigued…

Is it art? If you’re talking about it and asking the question, it probably is.

You can read Norine’s blog here.