CORTEX Magazine establishes campus presence with community events
A new Yale extracurricular is bringing an installation, speakers and a magazine to campus.
Courtesy of Sarah Feng
CORTEX Magazine — a new experimental journal for the arts and sciences — is making its presence known with upcoming events on campus.
The collaborative journal, founded in the Spring of 2022 by Sarah Feng ’25 — currently the editor in chief — features Yale student creatives. Writers produce works encompassing both STEM and the humanities. These works include fiction, non-fiction and poetry and are published twice a year in an issue. With 22 people now on staff, CORTEX is organizing unconventional yet exciting events tied to their literary roots.
Suraj Singareddy ’25, lead poetry editor at CORTEX, along with Feng, is planning the new monthly event series titled “Once in a Blue Moon.” Singareddy is a member of the News’ podcast staff. Future locations for “Once in a Blue Moon” events include the Leitner Observatory and the Yale School of Art.
Each event features speakers that bridge STEM and the humanities. Their most recent iteration happened on Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Cushing Center’s brain room. This event featured a conversation between painting and printmaking artist V Yeh ART ’24 and visiting Linguistics and Philology Professor Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal.
“We wanted to create this series as a way to … bring CORTEX more into the community,” said Singareddy.
Singareddy found that many of the topics that CORTEX members were discussing would be interesting to Yalies. Although speakers are the highlight of these events, Yalies are encouraged to explore these topics further and inspire future discussions.
Jordan Davidson ’25, lead fiction editor at CORTEX Magazine, not only enjoys the CORTEX community, but also savors the creative opportunities offered, like these events. Davidson is contributing to CORTEX’s second issue, which will be released online by Nov. 25th and is focused on sci-fi fairy tales.
Many written works are later supplemented by musical compositions and graphics before publication. But Davidson remarks that CORTEX also produces a “reverse-engineered” version of this traditional publication method, instead producing standalone artwork.
An example of CORTEX’s standalone artwork will be available in a fairytale themed installation taking place at three separate exhibitions, the first of which will be displayed from Nov. 16 to 17. Although the installation is not directly drawn from CORTEX’s second issue, it mirrors the themes involved.
“We wanted something both magical and spooky and whimsical and a little bit haunting,” Feng says.
Anasthasia Shilov ’23, creative director and lead illustrator at Cortex, is excited to contribute to CORTEX’s art installation. Shilov and Feng have started buying objects secondhand to add to the collection and more is yet to come. Visitors can expect everything from antique pieces to nature-themed cyanotypes to fairytale books.
Although Shilov and Feng have been instrumental in starting to shape the new exhibition, Shilov says that it will look best once everyone contributes something to it. Davidson, for example, will be crocheting an octopus for the installation.
The installations will also include original musical compositions from Ilana Zaks MUS ’23, Michael Gancz MUS ’22 and Antonis Christou ’23. Zaks is the News’ arts editor. Issue I, titled “The Great Reversal,” is available digitally and on Amazon. CORTEX will be hosting a launch party for this issue on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 8 to 9 p.m. in the Trumbull Common Room.