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

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

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