You gotta piece…

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. 🙂

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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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