From the Editors
It’s been five months since the last issue of v.1—we’ve fumbled into a new year, endured schisms local and global, held the hands of those close by and reached to those farther away. As this letter is penned, New England has seen more days of rain than in springs past. Though gloom may be difficult to wade through, we editors brought this issue of v.1 together in an attempt to tease out the sparkle of a life, of a passion, of an obsession—the sprout of the first bloom, the remaining sliver of sun as day wanes into night.
Translating thought into praxis is a labor of love; the nonsense of the world asks for a pliable mind and a patient heart—within the pages of this issue, our contributors have taken this call to action and traversed various borders, whether digital, physical, or emotional. A professor reflects on her past semester’s sabbatical research in Sri Lanka and the country’s decades of turmoil; one student dives deep into the world of internet antique dealing and digital nostalgia while another approaches amnesia, ghosts, and trauma through a physical listening device; a letter is another student’s frank confrontation with his mother tongue. There is a project on color and the ways we move through museum spaces as well as a proposal that creates an unconventional fissure through those spaces. We are brought to brighter days in an interview with Sunrise RI and introduced to hopeful horizons through conversations with RISD’s new Provost and new Associate Provost for Social Equity and Inclusion. We even have our first taste of “food writing.” The only way to wrap up an issue like this one is not to—we’ve let its loose strings fall and tied a ribbon around its tangles. Ultimately, the things that dominate our time and our minds don’t often form from a singular root; they sprout in myriad directions.
Last issue we were green. This issue we’re in purple. Next issue we might be full color or in new forms both multiple and mutant. “Publishing,” returned to its etymological roots, brings us to populus, Old Latin for “the people.” In whatever we do, v.1 hopes to uphold an underground rhizome for our people—an ear to the ground and a pulse to the shifting landscapes. Whether dispatching a word, a mark, a conversation, or an extended essay, our pages are consistently open and endlessly malleable. As our friend the late poet Mary Oliver (1935–2019) wrote: “I’m not trying to be wise, that would be foolish. I’m just chattering.”
Irina V. Wang