Wednesday Aug 17, 2022

Western Vocal Drag and the Cyborg’s Prosody: Decolonizing Assistive Audio Technology

The inaugural Signals podcast features an in-depth conversation with Filipino American storyteller, poet, artist, and scholar Dorothy R. Santos. Santos, a San Francisco native, is the recent recipient of the 2022 Mozilla Creative Media award for her interactive, documentary-poetic work, The Cyborg’s Prosody and the inaugural YBCA 10 Award in 2021. She is currently a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow in the Film and Digital Media PhD program at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her artwork has been exhibited at Ars Electonrica, Rewrite Festival, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and more. Her writing appears in art21, Art in America, Ars Technica, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, and Vice Motherboard. She is the Executive Director of the Processing Foundation.

As a steward of arts and technology in the San Francisco Bay Area and a scholar of feminist techno sciences and critical medical anthropology, Santos’s work is prolific and influential across multiple fields. The podcast conversation ranges from her interactive fiction Domain Errors, published by Art Journal to The Cyborg’s Prosody, to assistive auditory technologies, open source software, and her work at the Processing Foundation. 

In Domain Errors, Santos quotes Lucia Sommer’s essay “In/Visible Body: Notes on Biotechnologies Vision,” who asks: “How does the body, that most vulnerable of territories, fare in the relentless expansion of the sight machine?” Listen to this month’s Signals podcast, hosted by Elia Vargas for a conversation on this and other questions, such as: What is the Cyborg’s Prosody? What role can the open source software community play in assistive technologies? How are technocultures and spell work related? And, is there a place for forgetting in the future?


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Hosted by Elia Vargas

Intro Music Credits: systemritual (Elia Vargas and Nathan Blaz)

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