Traditional art meet Digital Art. Be nice.

[Traditional Art enters the room]

Dorothy (DS): Hey Traditional!! I’m glad you could make it. I really wanted you to meet my friend, Digital. I know you’ve heard a lot about her. She’s amazing! Just like you!

Traditional: I don’t know about this. I’ve heard a lot about Digital. She moves way too fast. I mean, all those connections. Who knows where all those wires have been?! Are you sure this is a good idea? I’m okay with all the painters and sculptors, you know. They like me but it is starting to get a bit boring from time to time. Oh, I had some time and passed by this exhibition where your voice controlled the piece! Crazy chaotic drawing that looked like a bunch of blind contours. Anyway, it was pretty cool. Look, I don’t want to give up all my drawing and painting and I just got into sculpture. You’re right though. I need to connect with more people. This is still scary for me. You know how shy I am. I still don’t know about this. What if she doesn’t like me?!?

[Traditional, nervously, steps away to retrieve her sketchbook and pencils to doodle for a bit]

DS to Traditional: Don’t take too long. She’s gonna be here any minute now.

[DS, quickly, walks to the monitor and sees Digital]

DS to Digital: Heya Digital!! [We exchange emoticons. Our waves are in slow motion so it’s faster to send a smiley face with teeth! Yes, this meeting is virtual. What did you expect?]. How have you been? I haven’t seen you in like, oh, I don’t know, 2 minutes! That’s a long time!!

Digital: I know, right? So, yeah, I’ve gotta get back to connecting the world but I know you’ve been wanting to introduce me to someone? Where is she? You told me she’s classic. You know how I love perennial style. I’m getting hard pressed by all the ladies who swing all these gigs and fancy script around. It takes more than code and all these fancy pimped out externals to get me going. I don’t mind slowing things down a bit too. I’ve got a soft spot for craftiness, an affinity for Olympia typewriters. Yeah, you know what I mean, right? Oh, if I could draw with some pencils without all these vectors and Wacom tablets. I don’t know. I’m starting to feel like Data from Star Trek.

DS to Digital: Oh, umm, hold on a second.

[DS moves away from the monitor and has TA take a seat in front of the monitor]

DS Voice: Traditional meet Digital. Digital meet Traditional.

TA and DA [simultaneously]: Ummm, hi.

Will they get together? Will their lines get crossed? Who knows?!? This is only the beginning…stay tuned. Yes…I had an imaginary friend when I was growing up. I’ll try to make the next installment a juicy one! 😉

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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos is a writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research areas and interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, networked culture, 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 is currently the managing editor for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and Public Art Dialogue. She has lectured and spoken at the De Young museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” has been published to The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture in 2016. She serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism, board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center, and teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Digital Art and New Media department.

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