Make Room

A lot of work if you don't want to be on the outside...

Similar to Lucy in our genius comic, there’s plenty of work going on in an artist’s studio (more so in the artist’s mind). With Daily Serving helping me with my daily art nutrition intake; the Quit Marginalizing Yourself post was worth the added mental exploration. The reflection is part of a week-long series of posts focused on the notion of failure and how it’s depicted in the arts. Stereotypical perceptions of artists and the ways in which they marginalize themselves was the crux of Van Winckle’s write-up. She asserts one of the core issue artists encounter – running in the same circles.

The fundamental issue here is that we assume that people don’t care and won’t care. We continue to go out to openings and other events to support our colleagues at alternative art spaces and non-profit artist run galleries, but these seem to draw out the same crowd every month; an entire collection of people accepting the normalized version of an artist’s life. ~ Heather Van Winckle

Within each circle, culture, sub-culture, (cults even), people will always be outside of you just as much as you are outside of them. In the end, it’s an enormous Venn diagram (love those), rather, an Either-Or situation (Kierkegaard would be proud – I digress, per usual). Back to the topic at hand, it all depends on where you’re looking and where you’re situated. A tremendous amount of work is required in order to navigate around an art scene. Who wants who where and doing what? There’s a place for everyone and everyone in their place but being outside of culture to shape it and make it happen is intrinsic to the artists work and lifestyle. Artists are the individuals in society that simultaneously are the outliers and the makers that reflect civilization back to its own citizens. The attempts to re-appropriate, re-organize, and ultimately, engaging in the reification of concepts is a tough, unforgiving, and often thankless job, which many of us leave up to artists.

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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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