On the surface, Investigating Imaginary Evidence documents the intensive creative process behind Forced Entertainment's construction of a CD-ROM project in detail, helping chart the debates and interactions among collaborators in order to demonstrate the eventual synthesis of key ideas that make the project what it is. However, Investigating Imaginary Evidence goes well beyond merely offering an extensive behind-the-scenes examination of the intricate matrix of reflections about creativity, interactivity, and the status of "evidence" to embody a larger issue, namely the phenomenological relationship between creator and user.
Using a pared back, minimal aesthetic, the hypertext structure brings to the fore the generous reaching out of both creator and user; both move towards each other in a reciprocal dance of questioning and answering, of offering and receiving, each invested in the conjuring of imaginary evidence. The results of the investigation are not a given; instead, they emerge gradually.
While this issue of Vectors is about evidence, it is difficult not to reflect on the "imaginary" in the title of this project. "Imaginary" here isn't just the whimsical musings contained in a mind, but might reference as well Lacan's imaginary, the place where boundaries dissolve in a fluid matrix. What is the imaginary of evidence in this context? In its thematizing of user/creator intersection, Investigating Imaginary Evidence helps point us toward an answer.
-- Tara McPherson and Steve Anderson