Vectors, Kairos' Evil Twin
A very different sort of online journal is Vectors, published by the Annenberg Center for Communication at University of Southern California, with a tag line of "Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular." The journal embraces digital performance in a manner similar to Kairos, proclaiming in their editorial statement that "All projects published in Vectors necessarily must in some way need to be online," but the journal encourages a model of high-end collaborative projects: 2/3 of the fifteen Flash-based texts that have been published in the first two issues of the journal were produced by collaborative teams, usually a writer and a designer though often additional technical people pitch in; indeed, one text, "Virtual Vaudeville" by David Saltz, lists 40 people in the project credits. A number of the pieces were commissioned for the journal and produced during a summer residency at Annenberg. The work published in Vectors is visually and conceptually stunning, though in many of the collaborations, the text feels almost lost (and alone) amidst the many dazzling media elements.
Vectors is not really Kairos' evil twin, but it is striking how two journals with such similar editorial policies and peer review processes can be so totally different. For ten years, Kairos has been largely sustained by community effort whereas Vectors' editors thank a long list of foundations for supporting its publication. It will be interesting to see whether the Vectors model is sustainable once its initial burst of creativity (and funding) ebbs.