Review of Blue Velvet in Vectors

Goldberg, David Theo and Stefka Hristova. «Blue Velvet: Re-dressing New Orleans in Katrina’s Wake» Vectors 3.1 (2007) <>

Blue Velvet is a linear article arguing that the disaster in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina was a socially produce one, as the affected area was designated for poor black people and had been neglected for over a century, a development made even worse by neoliberalism and the Iraq war.

It is constructed as a sequence of 24 numbered sections. Only after a section is opened does a link to the next appear. Each section consists of 1-7 pages of written text, numbered and with «next» and «previous» links, as well as 1-6 «media elements». These can be photos, tables of numbers, charts, maps, sound files, or short videos, and serve as background documentation for the written argument.

Visually, the work is sectioned in layers. At top, against a sky background are the links to the sections. When one is selected, it «drops» down with a splash into water at a horizon. The text pages are deep underwater, while the media material is at the bottom.Skjermbilde 2014-08-27 kl. 09.06.55

Skjermbilde 2014-08-27 kl. 09.08.43

Skjermbilde 2014-08-27 kl. 09.24.35

It is also possible to view the work in an «index», revealing a database of 8 tables. It seems to be an overly complicated back-end for a fairly simple structure, one that could easily have been reproduced by hand in HTML. I guess the work was planned to be different, grew too complicated, and then resigned and settled for a linear structure.
Skjermbilde 2014-08-27 kl. 10.58.05





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