Recent Conversation

   Archived Conversation

Jun 14, 2012 — Critical Sections wins Jury’s Choice Award at ELO 2012 Media Art Show

May 03, 2012 — The Knotted Line is the first project to use Scalar to drive a custom interface

Mar 02, 2012 — Scalar-based complement to Matthew Delmont’s The Nicest Kids in Town launches

Oct 03, 2011 — Compatible Data Initiative Highlights Workflows between Archives, Linked Data, and Authors

Sep 21, 2011 — Vectors’ team developing Scalar

Feb 03, 2011 — Vectors publishes Critical Code Studies 2010 Conference Proceedings

Jan 15, 2011 — Call for Proposals: NEH Summer 2011 Vectors-CTS Summer Institute on Digital Approaches to American Studies

Aug 01, 2010 — ThoughtMesh: “A Tool for a Healthy Commons”

May 20, 2010 — Launch: Precision Targets

Apr 16, 2010 — Job Announcement: Mukurtu Project Developer II

Feb 15, 2010 — “Forging the Future” Mesh launches, includes book

Feb 13, 2010 — CFP - Broadening the Digital Humanites: The Vectors-IML/UC-HRI Summer Institute

Feb 09, 2010 — Erik Loyer and Craig Dietrich present at USC

Feb 08, 2010 — Revised academic criteria = most downloaded Leonardo article

Sep 21, 2009 — Summer 2009 Institute fellows featured in gallery installation on collaboration

May 19, 2009 — Dynamic Backend Generator (DBG): A Scholarly Middleware Tool

Apr 17, 2009 — Leonardo publishes UMaine's "New Criteria for New Media"

Apr 17, 2009 — ThoughtMesh announces affiliation with Carnegie-Mellon

Feb 10, 2009 — ThoughtMesh launches "peer review" feature

Feb 08, 2009 — CFP Announced for Vectors-IML Summer 2009 NEH Institute

Sep 30, 2008 — ThoughtMesh featured at Harvard's Berkman Center

Jun 17, 2008 — Poets and Pundits Pounce on ThoughtMesh

May 30, 2008 — ThoughtMesh featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Apr 07, 2008 — Blue Velvet to be exhibited at Electronic Literature Organization conference

Jan 30, 2008 — Public Secrets selected for transmediale ‘08

Jan 30, 2008 — Vectors’ Fellow Kim Christen featured on BBC’s Digital Planet

Apr 10, 2007 — Public Secrets Wins Webby Honoree Award

Feb 15, 2007 — Vectors to be featured in The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival

Aug 02, 2006 — Cast-offs from the Golden Age to be featured on Electrofringe

Jun 26, 2006 — VectorSpace gains new multi-issue functionality.

May 08, 2006 — Vectors Fellow wins ACLS Fellowship

Feb 15, 2006 — Vectors selected as Cool Pick

Aug 26, 2005 — Vectors featured at Teaching with Technology

Jun 01, 2005 — Kate Hayles’ Narrating Bits at

May 17, 2005 — What would you do with a mobile Internet?

Feb 26, 2005 — Vectors launches at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles!

Feb 21, 2005 — Vectors featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education

The newly-launched Vectors’ project, The Roaring ‘Twenties, by Emily Thompson and Scott Mahoy began receiving extensive press before it even officially went live.  The StudioX Blog and the Paleofuture section of Gizmodo both included write-ups of the piece, followed by a feature on the City Room blog of The New York Times.  Emily Rueb observes in the Times that “voyeurs and the curious can search the vast network of content by date, keyword or by location on a zoomable Google map overlaid with a black and white map from 1933,” while Matt Novak of Paleofuture comments, “[The project]helps transport those of us here in the 21st century to a version of New York City that was experiencing incredible change. Alcohol was illegal, women had just gotten the vote, and cars were flooding the streets. And in a way, you can hear it all bubbling up through the sounds of pneumatic drills, deliverymen, and sirens blaring throughout the city.”  Meanwhile, Bowery Boogie warns “that it’s a time suck.”

— Vectors Journal, October 25th, 2013, 0 Comments »

Critical Sections, a project from the Memory issue of Vectors authored by Greg J. Smith and designed by Erik Loyer, has received a Jury’s Choice Award as part of the Media Arts Show at the 2012 Electronic Literature Organization Conference. In Critical Sections, the user draws with drawings—calling to the screen a collection of observations on domesticity in Los Angeles by triggering mashups of architectural renderings for eight prototype homes with images from eight films set in, or explicitly about the city.

In other ELO happenings, the conference schedule includes a panel called “Vectors, Scalar, and Magic” featuring Mark Marino, Craig Dietrich, and Erik Loyer discussing how the rich collaborations of the Vectors journal have laid the foundation for Scalar, the new scholarly publishing platform currently in development by members of the Vectors team.

— Vectors Journal, June 14th, 2012, 0 Comments »

Coinciding with a HASTAC Scholars Forum taking place this week on the same topic, Vectors is pleased to publish the proceedings of the Critical Code Studies 2010 Conference. The vibrant collection of videos and articles is published using ThoughtMesh, a platform and 2005 Vectors commission that links documents via user-generated tags and meshes.

The conference featured keynote speaker Wendy Chun and a host of prominent scholars, many of whom are present in this conversation. For those who’ve hesitated to join this discussion for lack of familiarity with CCS, these proceedings, featuring text and videos, are the perfect way to get acquainted with the innovative work that laid the foundation for our conversation. (Max Feinstein, HASTAC Scholars Forum)

Proceedings are available at:
Critical Code Studies:

— Craig Dietrich, February 3rd, 2011, 0 Comments »

Colin Kloecker from Works Progress has described ThoughtMesh as a “Tool for a Healthy Commons,” arguing that “a healthy commons needs tools that facilitate, connect, and nurture its inhabitants.” Colin’s post was in preparation for the kickoff event of the Walker Art Center’s “Open Field” initiative, which invites members of the online and local community to program the green space adjoining the museum.

ThoughtMesh is a tool for publishing online that began to materialize when Jon [Ippolito] and Craig Dietrich started thinking about what their ideal publishing software would look like, if they could build it from the ground up. What they came up with is a tool that allows published articles to live socially on the web, articles can be distributed and published on any website online. At the same time, every essay, article, and document are connected to each other. And of course, it’s easy to use, easy to share, and works as a non-linear presentation tool to boot!

Colin and his collaborator Shanai Matteson liked ThoughtMesh enough that they used it to organize the online version of the presenter’s talks.

Click on one of the keywords in the tag cloud to see which blog posts have been tagged similarly. If you click on “excerpts out,” you’re still searching with the same keywords, but now you’re searching through every single document in the ThoughtMesh database. This is a great way to connect to other articles and essays you might be interested in.

You can find more about the Walker’s Open Field initiative–over 100 events and counting–here.

— Jon Ippolito, August 1st, 2010, 0 Comments »

We’re pleased to simulcast this announcement for a job opportunity at the Mukurtu Project. The project, directed by Vectors Fellow alum Kim Christen (Digital Dynamics Across Cultures), is developing an open-source archive software based on Aboriginal cultural protocols.

Developer II Position Description

The Developer II position will act as the primary developer on an open source, grant-funded, Humanities-based digital archive project. The project seeks to create a robust digital archiving and content management tool for the specific needs of Indigenous communities globally (this is phase three of an existing project). The Developer II position will develop in object-oriented PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, and XML, and assist in deployment of an open source software package for both online and standalone (offline) computers. The Developer II position will work closely with the project manager and the lead software development manager on the primary application and implementation of additional media features, templates, customizable administration pages, xml export functions, robust installer package, and integration of image, video, and audio media into the system.

Applicant would have knowledge of and experience working with:

  • PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, XHTML, XML, PHP and Flash/Actionscript
  • Eclipse IDE (or similar shared workspace)
  • Media management using Flash/Actionscript

Applicant must also have:

  • Experience as a developer on multiple innovative multimedia projects
  • Ability to collaborate well with others and to meet deadlines
  • Ability to manage projects successfully with minimal supervision
  • Enthusiasm for the humanities and academia in general
  • A desire to work in a self-regulated manner with clients who are collaborators more than executive producers
  • A desire to work with ideas and concepts that move way beyond branding, causal pleasure, communication graphics, and marketing strategies

Seven-month project time line beginning May 1, 2010 with possibility of additional work. $40/hour, 15 hours/week.


Send CV and cover letter to:
Dr. Kimberly Christen @ kim.christen (at)

Specify MUKURTU PROJECT in subject line

Deadline: April 23, 2010 (or until filled)

— Craig Dietrich, April 16th, 2010, 0 Comments »

Forging Logo Thought thuForging the Future, an alliance of museums, archives, and other organizations devoted to new strategies and tools for preserving new media, has just launched its own Mesh–a set of documents linked by ThoughtMesh software–on the topic of variable media and preservation. In addition to standalone documents, the Mesh includes seventeen essays from the book Permanence Through Change: The Variable Media Approach, making this acclaimed publication accessible to even more readers, and automatically linking it to other texts on preservation published across the Web.

Forging Mesh tag CloudA co-publication of the Langlois Foundation and Guggenheim Museum, Permanence Through Change: The Variable Media Approach is one of the first comprehensive books on the challenge of preserving artworks produced in the wide variety of media birthed in the last half-century. The book features a variety of perspectives, from former Guggenheim curator John Hanhart to emulation expert Jeff Rothenberg to science-fiction author Bruce Sterling, as well as case studies involving Web sites, film performances, and candy spills.

Permanence Through Change also introduced many artists and arts professionals to the variable media paradigm. Now all the contributions to Permanence Through Change have been republished in a richly connective way. Because they are part of a Mesh, Permanence Through Change can be navigated via keywords that relate each essay to others in the same volume or outside on the Web at large.

— Jon Ippolito, February 15th, 2010, 0 Comments »

Mit Press Journals Banner“New Criteria for New Media” topped the list of the most downloaded article from MIT’s Leonardo Journal with 798 downloads as of this writing.

This article by Joline Blais, Steve Evans, Jon Ippolito, Owen F. Smith, and Nathan Stormer proposes concrete new academic guidelines for evaluating scholarship in the digital age, and has garnered attention from university researchers and administrators alike. The criteria explicitly recommend that scholars experiment with digital formats for their research–like the projects produced by Vectors Fellows.

A pdf version can be downloaded from the MIT Press Web site. An interactive version of the article can be found at

— Jon Ippolito, February 8th, 2010, 0 Comments »

Featured in the last issue of MIT’s Leonardo magazine are guidelines designed to nudge the criteria for excellence in today’s universities into the 21st century. Originally adopted to evaluate new media faculty at the University of Maine, these criteria are released under a Creative Common license in the hopes that faculties at other universities and research institutes will take a broader view of scholarship in the digital age.

Among other recommendations, the Leonardo article argues for rewarding researchers who experiment with digital publication tools, such as ThoughtMesh, and innovative online journals, such as Vectors.

The documents are also available online, in the form of a white paper entitled “New Criteria for New Media” as well as detailed guidelines for promotion and tenure.

— Jon Ippolito, April 17th, 2009, 1 Comment »

ThoughtMesh has begun a collaboration with Carnegie-Mellon University’s ETC Press, a publishing imprint dedicated to printing books across multiple media formats:

ETC Press publications will focus on issues revolving around entertainment technologies as they are applied across a variety of fields. We will accept submissions and publish work in a variety of media (textual, electronic, digital, etc.). We are interested in creating projects with Sophie, and all ETC Press publications will be released under…Creative Commons licenses.

The first book meshed from ETC, Stories In Between: Narratives and Mediums @ Play, is by CMU’s own Drew Davidson. Stories In Between considers the interplay of word and medium in recent mixed-medium texts such as Myst, the Sandman comic series, Ultima OnLine, and MitterNachtSpiel.

— Jon Ippolito, April 17th, 2009, 0 Comments »

ThoughtMesh co-developers Craig Dietrich and John Bell have just launched a commenting system internal to the ThoughtMesh network with the provocative heading of “peer review.” Unlike the relatively uncontrolled comments at a site like YouTube, ThoughtMesh’s reviews are subject to a rigorous trust metric. Each reviewer must claim a level of expertise before rating an article, and the software holds them accountable in a way that differs from the traditional peer review of academic journals.

As might be expected, a review by someone claiming expertise will have more effect on the overall rating of the essay than by someone who claims none. However, those who claim expertise have to live up to it. If an academic makes exaggerated claims and is then trashed by her peers, her credibility will plummet faster than if she claimed no expertise in the first place.

— Jon Ippolito, February 10th, 2009, 0 Comments »

Still Water’s John Bell and Jon Ippolito presented the Vectors project ThoughtMesh, co-produced with Craig Dietrich, in a talk given at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard University last July. The topic was new tools for sharing the products of creative and academic research.

The Berkman Web site includes a video of the presentation as well as a text-based q&a with Bell and Ippolito on “crowdsourcing creativity.”

— Jon Ippolito, September 30th, 2008, 0 Comments »

Over forty authors from the National Poetry Foundation’s conference on poetry of the seventies have published their work using ThoughtMesh, revealing connections among different peoples’ writing. Now poets and poetry scholars at other universities appear to be jumping on the bandwagon. Who knew that “1973″ and “John Ashbery” were on so many poets’ minds? ThoughtMesh did.

For more information please visit:

— Jon Ippolito, June 17th, 2008, 0 Comments »

An article in the March 30th Chronicle of Higher Education featured three projects developed at The University of Maine’s New Media Department including ThoughtMesh, created withVectors. Andrea Foster writes, “ThoughtMesh is a Web site that tags open-access scholarly papers with key words. Visitors can jump to passages in papers that contain those words. And they can see others’ papers, throughout academe, tagged with the same words. A “cloud” of tagged words hovers above each paper.”

For more information please visit:
New-Media Scholars’ Place in ‘the Pool’ Could Lead to Tenure
ThoughtMesh Vectors Project Page
University of Maine New Media Department

— Jon Ippolito, May 30th, 2008, 0 Comments »

“Blue Velvet,” by David Theo Goldberg, Stefka Hristova, and Erik Loyer, will be featured in the Media Art Show at this year’s Electronic Literature Organization conference in Vancouver, Washington. Featured in the Difference issue of Vectors, ”Blue Velvet” enables users to submerge themselves in a poetic wordscape describing the contours of American racial politics post-Katrina.

For more information please visit:
ELO Conference website

— Vectors Journal, April 7th, 2008, 0 Comments »

Public Secrets, by Sharon Daniels and Erik Loyer, has been named an official selection at transmediale 08 in Berlin. The piece, included in the Vectors’ Perception issue, explores issues of women’s incarceration. 

As a festival for art and digital culture, transmediale presents advanced artistic positions reflecting on the socio-cultural impact of new technologies. It seeks out artistic practices that not only respond to scientific or technical developments, but that try to shape the way in which we think about and experience these technologies. transmediale understands media technologies as cultural techniques which need to be embraced in order to comprehend, critique, and shape our contemporary society.

For more information please visit:
transmediale site

— Vectors Journal, January 30th, 2008, 0 Comments »

Vectors’ fellow Kim Christen was recently interviewed on the BBC’s Digital Planet about her continued work developing innovative archives with indigenous peoples. 

Kim’s Vectors’ project, “Digital Dynamics Across Cultures” (in the Ephemera issue), was an early effort in this regard. She has gone on to receive numerous grants and to continue to work with Vectors’  team member, Craig Deitrich.

For more information please visit:
Learn more at Kim’s blog

— Vectors Journal, January 30th, 2008, 0 Comments »

Congratulations to Vectors Fellow Sharon Daniel and Co-Creative Director, Erik Loyer!

Vectors has received a Webby Honoree Award in the Activism category for their piece, “Public Secrets”. The piece, a sophisticated and powerful exploration of the incarceration of women in California, is part of the latest issue of Vectors on the theme of “Perception” and was created as part of the Vectors Fellowship Competition. 

The Official Honoree distinction is awarded to work that scores in the top 15% of all work entered into the Webby Awards. With over 8,000 entries received from all 50 states and over 60 countries, this is an outstanding accomplishment for Sharon and Erik.

For more information please visit:
See the Webby Awards here.

— Vectors Journal, April 10th, 2007, 0 Comments »

Cast-offs from the Golden Age, a project from Vectors’ Ephemera issue, will be featured on the Electrofringe website as part of the This Is Not Art Festival in Newcastle, Australia (September 28-October 2). Electrofringe is “dedicated to showcasing emergent forms, highlighting nascent trends and encouraging participants to explore technology and its creative possibilities.” Cast-offs, authored by Melanie Swalwell with design and programming by Erik Loyer, enables users to explore the history of New Zealand’s videogame industry in a navigable 3D environment.

— Vectors Journal, August 2nd, 2006, 0 Comments »

Vectors Fellow Caren Kaplan was recently awarded an inaugural ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship. These fellowships allow awardees “to pursue digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. It is hoped that projects of successful applicants will help advance digital humanistic scholarship by broadening understanding of its nature and exemplifying the robust infrastructure necessary for creating further such works.” For further details on the fellowships, see the ACLS website.

Caren’s Vectors‘ project will published in the Fall 2006 issue on Perception.

— Vectors Journal, May 8th, 2006, 0 Comments »

Kate HaylesNarrating Bits is a featured project on the Information Aesthetics site for June 1, 2005.

To see the archive, please visit

— Vectors Journal, June 1st, 2005, 0 Comments »

Vectors is seeking proposals for creative or scholarly uses of a mobile server/transmitter unit known as the WiFi Bedouin for inclusion in its Mobility Issue to be published in late Summer 2005. Designed by Julian Bleecker, the WiFi Bedouin uses a portable 500mW 802.11b transmitter and Mac OS X based web server that is ready to receive your portable web content.

The system includes basic software for web pages, group chat, an open blog and iTunes music streaming, but users are free to add custom software as desired. We are particularly interested in projects that use the Bedouin to investigate issues related to the intersection of physical and virtual spaces and questions of locality, proximity, materiality, community, etc. Once your project or event has been completed, we will ask you to submit documentation of the project outcomes for inclusion in the Mobility issue of Vectors.

Please submit your WiFi Bedouin proposals to by May 25, 2005. Projects should be able to be completed and documentation submitted by July 1, 2005.

Proposals should include the following information:
• Name of applicant(s) and contact information
• Project title
• One sentence description
• Brief explanation of project goals and interests
• Approximate timeline for completing the project
• Previous work or experience in related areas

— Vectors Journal, May 17th, 2005, 0 Comments »