Garage Biennale Book – Now Available!

Book cover for Garage Biennale
The first show I attended at the Garage - "I Walked Through Seven Sad Forests"

Art is supposed to be an experience.

Don’t you think? Well, I do.

These days, it’s not enough for me to look at something on a canvas or a neatly stacked collection of combs (okay, so if it’s Sonya Clark, I know the combs are ridiculously magnificent looking and rife with cultural subtext and history. Yes, I love her work but I just digressed, big surprise).

In any case, I said it and I’ll say it again. It’s NOT enough to just look at something for sheer retinal pleasure. As much appreciation and adoration I have for traditional art, there is something incredibly valuable about contemporary art in the conceptual realm. In particular, art pieces that are fleeting and ephemeral involve this excitement and wonder. The temporality of the Garage performances and exhibitions asked only one thing of its patrons – to be present. For those that wonder, “What good would a book about events I never attended and/or will never happen again do for me?” The answer: It’s a part of history. The loss of the moment. The loss of the opportunity. The loss of the time spent watching. The loss of an experience.

“Being temporary is being human, but so is longing for permanence. However, impermanence is our nature, and once we embrace it we can forget about loss and failure. Decisions then come with clarity and alacrity. This is the beauty of temporality: you learn that, sometimes, through loss is the only way.” ~Justin Hoover

Being an avid supporter of alternative art spaces, Justin Hoover‘s book, Garage Biennale serves as a wonderful chronicle of a truly alternative and experimental art space in San Francisco. I remember first learning about the Garage and utterly fascinated how one went about creating a gallery space that was simultaneously public and private. The dichotomy alone intrigued me and I considered myself a patron when I viewed my first show, “I Walked Through Seven Sad Forests”. It was the first art show I ever wrote about, actually. I always wanted to write about art but I never thought that this Garage would have been the impetus for that aspiration.

I owe a lot to the Garage and Mr. Justin Hoover…thank you, my friend!

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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) 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 as one of the editors-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 (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

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