'New Yorker' Debuts Digital Culture Series 'Touchstones'

The New Yorker is finding new ways to leverage its cultural coverage online, with the introduction of a multimedia digital series called “Touchstones." New Yorker writers will guide readers through influential works of art that had an impact on them.

The “Touchstones” series features a variety of visual and interactive elements, such as photos, music samples, video clips, GIFs and animations.

The launch is sponsored by Tiffany & Co.

An installment from New Yorker writer Doreen St. Félix on Missy Elliott’s album “Supa Dupa Fly,” for example, displays Félix’s account in text, broken up by music video clips and R&B songs that play when you hold down your mouse. Dragging your mouse across an audio player lets you "reverse" Missy Elliott’s famous song “Work It.”

“The goal was to use different visual and interactive elements to explain these works in ways that words alone might not be able to fully accomplish,” Michael Luo, editor, NewYorker.com, told Publishers Daily.

As The New Yorker's digital ambitions have "continued to grow," the company has increasingly invested in its interactive team, led by Monica Racic, Luo said. 

“We also wanted to experiment with different approaches to digital-first storytelling that take full advantage of the possibilities of the medium, including audio, video and interactive elements," he added.

New Yorker writer Hua Hsu takes a deep dive into Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” while Amanda Petrusich's piece is on Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation 1814.”

Future installments of “Touchstones” will explore pioneering works in art, film and literature.  

“The hope is we can do these regularly,” Luo said.

The New Yorker often experiments with interactive projects, he said (such as its interactive map on election night), but “this is our first attempt at a recurring series.”

“For casual readers, it will offer an introduction to important works from the worlds of music, art, film, literature and more. For New Yorker super fans, it will give them insight into the personalities and tastes of their favorite critics,” Luo noted.

Next story loading loading..