CREATIVE TIME: Dorothy Santos

On October 12, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley and the Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts are partnering to host a live-streaming of the Creative Time Summit, an annual conference in New York that brings together cultural producers–including artists, critics, writers, and curators–to discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, attendees have been asked to submit a paragraph on a keyword associated with one of the summit themes: Inequities, Occupations, Making, or Tactics. This posting is by Dorothy Santos, New Media and PR strategist for Art Practical.
Keyword: Making
Artists, writers, and technologists are expected to create with certain parameters before bending and breaking the rules. With new media art, programming, creative coding, and open source culture seem to be exploring new ways that are redefining contemporary art. The interactive and immersive works prevalent in new media works offer an entirely different experience of art. Yet, what happens when the body performs and serves as the catalyst for the production and creation of an artwork? How is the mind expected to reflect on the work when the body becomes a part of the work itself?
Since the idea of art making and creating is so vastly different with advancements in technology being made each day, it’s imperative to discuss how the body of both the artist and the the viewer are implicated in the works. Although an ambitious and arduous task, it’s extremely important to find ways to incorporate discussions in new media and digital arts and traditional art practices. Comparing and contrasting the art practices may lessen the gap between traditional artists and the artist-technologists. Having recently read philosophical text and theory on the body and disembodiment, I’m struck by how much the body plays a role in new media works that seems to cross over into actual functional use of everyday objects. Collectively, much of the public is so accustomed to the design and convenience of interactive products and commodities, it would be interesting to discuss how this revolutionizes or hinders the artist – any artist (not only new media artists but any artist). Is overuse of the body a hindrance or progressive when it comes to new media arts, specifically, or is it too reliant? What is new media addressing or not addressing in practice and in theory? Or, how it is working against traditional models?


Despite the availability of interdisciplinary studies, the way in which things are made is extremely important to the overall discourse of how the arts have changed alongside the emergence and popularity of other new media modes of art making (including crowd sourcing and interaction design). In particular, being situated in the Bay Area, how is it that there are not very many galleries exhibiting new media works? Although there are valiant efforts being made to showcase and foster the discussion and exhibition of new media and digital arts, it is important to learn the history and methods of how these works have been deemed art, by whom, and the models that may hinder or enhance progression in the arts.