Understanding Perception, Part III – It’s all in your mind

Modern Math

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines perceive as, to attain awareness or understanding of.

If perception is the way we ascertain awareness, then the frustration for some people who find themselves ‘not getting it’ are probably the same individuals unwilling to understand, right? Well, to my two friends, Justin and Josef, I wanted share a few thoughts…

  • Modern artists didn’t make art to annoy or anger you, trust me. If you’re angry or frustrated, talk it out. One should not be angry over art. Come on, now!
  • Modern and Conceptual art are NOT pointless.
  • Question to DS: There’s a room with nothing but a TV with all these images WHAT is the point of that? Answer: To make you think…sorry, you gotta do this!
  • Do you really want someone to ‘tell you what Art is’? Boo. No fun.

*          *          *          *

I’ve got dreams (idealistic ones) about the art world.

Little by little, I’m hoping to turn the following questions and statements…

“What the hell does that mean?”

“My Kid could do that.”

“I don’t get it.”

“That is not art, it’s stupid.”


“It makes me think of…”

“So, this person was considered an innovator? I’m just curious, how? What was the context?”

“I may not understand and/or like this BUT this is what I see and/or experience…”

“This may not be my type of thing; however, looking at the other stuff around here, someone may say that about a piece of art I, actually, understand.”


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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