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 »

We are pleased to announce the launch of Freedom’s Ring, a Scalar-based, interactive experience of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Produced by the King Institute at Stanford for the 50th anniversary of King’s Speech, Freedom’s Ring allows viewers to compare the written and spoken speech, explore multimedia images, listen to movement activists, and uncover historical context.

Freedom’s Ring is a custom-designed website which pulls its content from Scalar via the open API, enabling the interface to be tailored to the content at hand. The project contains an interactive transcript that highlights differences between the way King’s speech was delivered and how it was originally written. To capture these differences, Scalar was used to annotate every phrase of the speech, following King’s own cadences. Each annotation contains both the spoken and written versions of the phrase (if they differ), plus markup that distinguishes the two for display. Key words in the transcript are linked to questions illuminating the context of the speech, and each question is a Scalar path containing short explications of related topics, with extensive use of video and images to shed additional light on the subject matter.

— Vectors Journal, August 27th, 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 »

Another new Scalar project: The Knotted Line, a “tactile laboratory” created by artist/educator Evan Bissell that explores the nature of freedom and confinement in the United States. True to its name, The Knotted Line represents the intertwined histories of incarceration, education and labor through a collection of miniature paintings by Bissell depicting over 50 historical moments, all connected by a flowing, interactive line that can be pushed, pulled, and opened to reveal the imagery and content inside. This dynamic interface, designed and developed by Vectors’s creative director Erik Loyer, is almost wholly driven by material authored in Scalar—the first project to use Scalar in this way.

Each painting of The Knotted Line is annotated with brief glosses which introduce the historical event it depicts, and then link to an expanded treatment of the event in Scalar’s native reading interface, featuring embedded videos, images, and resources for educators. The complete timeline, which focuses on the geographical area of the United States, covers over 500 years of history, including some hopeful speculation about future events.

The Knotted Line shows the versatility of Scalar in the way in which it uses the same store of content to drive radically different, yet complementary presentations. Scalar’s ability to add arbitrary metadata using popular ontologies like Dublin Core and ArtSTOR made it possible to include the temporal and spatial coordinates needed by the tactile interface, while still keeping content visible and editable within Scalar’s default presentation.

Because of the visual, pedagogical, and historical nature of its content, The Knotted Line represents a dataset with its own creative potential for remix and reuse. To encourage this, the project’s creators have included a “Data Sources” path which explains where to find useful resources like 300 dpi versions of each painting, an XML file that defines every point of the “knotted line” itself, and more—a great example of how the open access philosophy behind Scalar enables projects to function simultaneously as publications, websites, archives, and services. As a result, the potential exists to reformat The Knotted Line as a poster, a game, or some unforeseen mashup with another data source; we’re excited by the possibilities.

— Tara McPherson, May 3rd, 2012, 0 Comments »

ANVC’s Craig Dietrich joined a group of scientists, humanists, and archivists for a weekend at the New York Public Library to discuss workflows between digital archives, linked data, and authors. At the Compatible Data Initiative conference, Dietrich presented Scalar’s use of XSLT and RDF technology to seemlessly bridge the platform with partner archives including Critical Commons and the Internet Archive. He concluded his talk with a call for publishing platforms to encourage responsible use of media through import features that maintain metadata records and templates that balance voice in both text and image.

Dietrich co-presented with UMaine Still Water co-director Jon Ippolito, who featured the Metaserver, an emerging tool for linking records across archives.

Both Scalar and the Metaserver can point to resources without needing to create a local copy, meaning they can outsource the labor of updating references to the various collections to those curators who are in a better position to do so. And both are free and open-source software. (Still Water blog)

— Tara McPherson, October 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 excited to relay the launch of Precision Targets, a sequel to Caren Kaplans’s 2007 Vectors commission Dead Reckoning.  In Precision Targets, Kaplan teams with Vectors Creative Director Erik Loyer and illustrator Ezra Claytan Daniels to extend research into birds-eye views and targets. Constructing an innovative 3-dimensional sequential art immersive space, the project juxtaposes GPS use by the military,  law enforcement and general public.

For more information, please visit

— Craig Dietrich, May 20th, 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 »

Come and see Vectors’ Erik Loyer (Creative Director) and Craig Dietrich (Info Design Director) present their work and collaborations at the IML’s Digital Studies Symposium. Topics will traverse design, programming, and scholarship. We’re sure there will be a lot of exciting projects shown.

Erik Loyer | Craig Dietrich
Thursday, February 11, 6 - 9 PM
Robert Zemeckis Center for the Digital Arts, Room 111
University of Southern California

Free and open to the public. For more information, please visit

— Vectors Journal, February 9th, 2010, 0 Comments »

Fellows from this summer’s Vectors-IML NEH Institute in Los Angeles speak about their collaborations and interests in an interactive media installation across the country in Maine.  Magic is presently installed at the at Without Borders VI: Conjunction gallery show on the University of Maine campus, and features video interview segments and theme-based navigation to explore the processes by which interactive media projects are produced.  Co-produced by Vectors staffer Craig Dietrich with U-Maine Intermedia graduate student John Bell, and L.A.-based installation artist Vanessa Vobis, the team created the installation as an early introduction to Magic, intending a full, Web-based release in 2010.

To see the installation on the Web, please visit

— Vectors Journal, September 21st, 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 »