Dorothy Santos


Dorothy R. Santos is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts.

She serves Co-Editor-in-Chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture in 2016. She is currently a fellow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts researching the concept of citizenship. She serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center. In the fall, she will be starting the doctoral program in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow.



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About Dorothy Santos's Thesis Project

Dorothy Santos

Narratives of Marginalized Bodies: Exploring Third Space in Contemporary New Media and Digital Art

The disruption of mainstream media such as radio, mobile, and Internet technologies provides a unique platform to expose narratives of marginalized bodies on the periphery of the dominant culture. In the works of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, John Craig Freeman, and Micha Cárdenas, the relationship between the body and interactive new media functions as a conduit for social, historical, and cultural transformation. In Lozano-Hemmer’s interactive, large-scale installation work Frequency and Volume (2003) a museum visitor’s body is transformed into an antenna, which uses the body as an activator for the work. In Freeman’s Border Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos (2012), consider the curious traveler holding their phone up in the U.S.- Mexican desert landscape to take a photograph, only to see skeletons suddenly floating across their smartphone screen. Through a mobile phone application, the viewer accesses images marking sites of border-crossing migrants deaths, which are overlaid onto tangible physical geography. In Cárdenas’s mixed media augmented performance Becoming Dragon (2008), the body’s relationship to physical and virtual realms becomes the means to materialize history. In all these works, the intersection between the body and media becomes a catalyst for deeper inquiry and exposition that explores the notion of Otherness through the mediation of images and sensory experiences.

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