The MUTEK Recorder
Episode 04: Dorothy R. Santos
Claire L. Evans
Dorothy R. Santos
Dorothy R. Santos
Dorothy R. Santos is the Executive Director of the Processing Foundation. Overseeing the foundation’s advocacy for software literacy in the visual arts, the San Francisco-based writer and curator has been integral in helping execute its mandate of increasing diversity in creative coding communities. In addition to her work for Processing, Santos is a co-founder of the REFRESH curatorial collective, which emerged in 2019 with a focus on inclusivity and promoting ”sustainable artistic and curatorial practices.”
“Dorothy is the Executive Director of the Processing Foundation, whose aim is to promote software literacy within the visual arts, and visual literacy within technology. Processing just celebrated 20 years, so happy anniversary!”
Claire L. Evans, welcoming Dorothy R. Santos to the MUTEK Recorder
“Since this is The Recorder: I remember meeting Casey Reas in 2011. He actually led a drawing workshop and you didn’t need a laptop. You just needed to show up with paper and pens.”
Dorothy R. Santos, reminiscing about her first encounter with the American software artist and Processing co-founder
“Little did I know, that ten years later I would be working closely with Casey Reas, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Daniel Shiffman, Johanna Hedva, Cassie Tarakajian, Qianqian Ye, Saber Khan, Evelyn Masso, and Toni Pizza.”
Dorothy R. Santos, providing a warm roll call of the Processing Foundation team
Processing, the graphical library and integrated development environment created by Ben Fry and Casey Reas in 2001, has grown from a niche tool into a full-on cultural force. Conceived as a ‘software sketchbook’ that made programming more accessible to visual artists, an enthusiastic community grew around the open source tool during its first decade, contributing libraries and building-out its capabilities. Processing the application was later subsumed by Processing Foundation, the charity, which stewards development but more broadly promotes software literacy and education (and access and inclusion) in the visual arts. The celebration of Processing’s 20th birthday was celebrated with the release of the first beta of version 4.0 (image).
“We constantly think about how we can document the evolution of different programming languages beyond Processing—and be stewards.”
Dorothy R. Santos, on the Processing Foundation’s expanded mandate