Vectors Journal

I was, and continue to be, entranced by the Vectors Journal. Its inventiveness! Its recognition and representation of the labyrinthine structure of the creative process! It's a project within a project, where the editorial statement itself is an exercise in the convoluted capacity of a digital repository. The coexistence of code, text (termed "lexia," invoking an everpresent etymological intentionality), and visual concept mapping creates a robust amalgam of interconnectivity meant to expose the flexibility and complexity of a multimedia archive.

I thought the following exerpts from the editorial statement (generated as I explored the evolving word map) were particularly apt:

  •  "Taking collaboration as a fundamental component of each project, we challenged everyone involved to subvert entrenched ideas about process, and to reach beyond the horizons of their traditional realms to consider how form is content, process is product…"
  • "Complex problems rarely obey the neat confines of academic disciplines, yet much scholarship continues to reside within disciplinary boundaries.  Each discipline develops its own subculture, its own methodologies, its own vocabularies, modes of thought propagated by academic journals and professional societies.  Robustly interdisciplinary work demands new modes of thinking but also inventive modes of assessment.  In experimenting with form and content, Vectors pursues interdisciplinary work in its themes, its collaborative work processes, and in its multi-tiered peer review structure, aiming to push knowledge production beyond the limits of traditional disciplinary thinking."

This description of an idealized multimedia platform was a helpful framework for me to (begin to) interpret the Roaring Twenties project hosted on the Vectors site. The layered interfaces of maps, sound clips, and written documents form a totally unique recreation of 1920s New York City, and prompt questions not only about the historical era but also about the ephemerality of experience and the ability or inability of recording (in every sense of the word) to represent, preserve, or interpret a stage of history.

In a nutshell, I continue to be fascinated by (and attracted to) both the ideological impulses and the tangible outputs of the Vectors Journal.