What inspired you to take on this project?

My inspiration for starting PLEX/US stems from academia and the internet. Like many other twenty-somethings, I have spent most of my life (so far) in school. I have also grown up as what many think of as a “digital native.” As such, I often feel the strain of these worlds being closed off to one another. While I have been fortunate to attend schools that tout the dictum of well-roundedness, I still feel that the Ivory Tower is too remote, while the internet is often difficult to digest in its enormity. The seed for PLEX/US comes from my favorite books, magazines, classes, and memories that deconstruct dichotomies of the emotional/intellectual, critical/creative, and personal/political.

How does your project respond to a need or a gap in the industry?

Too often in the publishing industry, the written word is exiled to predetermined categories of genre that foreclose on possibilities of cross-pollination between the mediums through which we think and feel. While we may be swimming in a plethora of multimedia, we lack publications that are both interdisciplinary and carefully curated. PLEX/US collects stories from various corners of the literary and artistic world while focusing the conversation around one theme per issue in order to create a space for unexpected connections.

How does this project contribute to creativity, innovation, representation and access in the industry?

By the end of these five weeks, I hope to launch our online presence, complete with the first issue of PLEX/US. This issue will feature critical essays, short stories, photography, sculpture, calligraphy, conversation and more responding to the intersection or disjuncture of emotion and technology. I also hope to have a business plan and road map for where PLEX/US might wander in the future.

What do you hope to accomplish by the end of the workshop?

I hope that this journal will start conversations between folks who don’t always talk to one another. One year from now I hope to have at least one new issue.