RODERICK COOVER

mesa

NEW PROJECTS: TOXI-CITY • HEARTS AND MINDS: THE INTERROGATIONS PROJECT• THREE RAILS LIVE • 
WILLIAM PENN AT THE LIGHTHOUSE• CATASTROPHE TRILOGY • ALTERED SHORELINES and THE CHEMICAL MAP
INTERACTIVE SCAPES/CINEMASCAPES: ESTUARIES • VOYAGE INTO THE UNKNOWN • CANYONLANDS • OUTSIDE/INSIDE
SHORT VIDEOS • BOOKS AND ESSAYS •  DOCUMENTARY FILMS AND VISUAL RESEARCH PROJECTS
ABOUT THE WEBSITE • ABOUT THE AUTHOR • RECENT/UPCOMING EVENTS

NEWS: ELO TRANSMEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL CALL PDF

THE ALTERED SHORELINES PROJECTS
Narrative and nonnarrative works in an age of climate change, industrial waste and changing spatial practices.

TOXI•CITY. Combinatory Film.
This combinatory narrative generates a new feature-length film each time it is shown. Interwoven lives unfold near industrial landscapes that have been transformed by sea-level rise. A CRChange Production.

ESTUARIES
Interactive Landscape and Artist Book
A comparative exploration of shorelines of the Delaware Estuary in the eastern USA and the Kent County Coast including the Thames Estuary in the UK derived from walking and boating the differing post-industrial landscapes. View...

THE CHEMICAL MAP
Interactive Map
This map indicating over 200 active petro-chemical industries and clean-up sites in the Delaware Estuary. Available in open source (Druple) and through Google Maps.

ALTERED SHORELINES PHOTOGRAPHIC SERIES. In Progress.
Features large prints, backlit images and photo essays.

ALTERED SHORELINES: The book. In Progress.

MemorialDay

THE UNKNOWN TERRITORIES PROJECTS

VOYAGE INTO THE UNKNOWN
Interactive Landscape. Join John Wesley Powell on the 1869 exploring expedition of the uncharted waters of the Colorado River.
Featured in Electronic Literature Collection and elsewhere.

CANYONLANDS:
Documentary Film and Interactive Cinemascape
.
Follow the writings of Edward Abbey, whose books such as Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang transformed how people thought about the arid American West, and return to landscapes he once wrote about.

CANYONLANDS: Edward Abbey and the Great American Desert. Documentary Film.

CANYONLANDS: EDWARD ABBEY IN THE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT Interactive cinemascape.

Featured in Arid Journal and elsewhere.

ABOUT UNKNOWN TERRITORIES

DOCUMENTARY, ETHNOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL PROJECTS

VERITE TO VIRTUAL: CONVERSATIONS ON THE FRONTER OF DOCUMENTARY ARTS AND VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY. 2007.
A documentary DVD that explores ways of building bridges between practices of the social sciences (anthropology, communication), the humanities (philosophy, cultural studies, cinema studies), and the arts (documentary film, interactive media, performance). Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources.

INSIDE/OUTSIDE. 2007-2008.
Interactive Computer Installation at the Museum of the American Philosophical Society at Independence Hall layering hidden histories, experimental mapping, story, and exploration of a three-block area of Philadelphia around Independence Hall.

THE LANGUAGE OF WINE: AN ANTHROPOLOGY OF WORK WINE AND THE SENSES. DVD. 2007.
Blending ethnography and eco-poetics, this documentary follows terms of winemaking in Bourgogne to unfold ways they are used to express fundamental life issues and cultural conditions.

CULTURES IN WEBS: HYPERMEDIA AND THE DOCUMENTARY IMAGE. 2003
An interactive CD-ROM. Distributed by Eastgate Systems.

THE HARVEST. 1999.
An interactive multimedia study of a wine harvest at the vineyards of A&P de Villaine in Bourgogne.

WRITING

SWITCHING CODES: Thinking Through Digital Technology In The Humanities and Arts. Edited by Roderick Coover and Thomas Bartscherer (University of Chicago Press).

SwitchingCodes

Leading American and European scholars, scientists, and artists consider how the precipitous growth of digital information and its associated technologies are transforming the ways we think and act. Employing a wide range of forms, including essay, dialogue, short fiction, and game design, this book models and provokes discussion across technologies, humanities and arts.

ESSAYS IN PRINT, WEB AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA
Click here for more essays, interviews and reflections.

UPCOMING AND RECENT EVENTS

Installation. INOVA Museum Milwaukee.
March-April. Installation in the exhibition, The Anthropocene.

Spectacle. William Penn At The Lighthouse. City Hall Philadelphia
March 3-5. Animated architecture video projection, Thurs-Sat 630-930pm.

Presentation. Flow and Fracture. Aarhus University, Belgium.
Dec 4-5, 2014. Screening of a pilot for TOXICITY: A recombinatory climate change narrative.

Installation/Performance. EVL CAVE2, University of Illinois, Chicago.
June 17 and July 7 2014. 3D Cave exhibition and video wall projects.

Installation. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. June 17-21.

Presentations of work at Sch. Of The Art Institute of Chicago (March) American Association of Geographers (April), the University of Chicago (May).

Installation and Artist-In-Residence. Brown University.
February 17-21, 2014. Video wall project and talks each day.

Fast-Forward Presentation, DesignPhiladelphia festival event.
October 11, 2013. 20 slides at 20 seconds each to answer one question: What's next for Philly? http://fastforwardphilly.blogspot.com/p/what-is-fast-forward.html

Special Course and Artist Performance Night, Bergen, Norway.
August 5-15. University of Bergen course collaboratory with faculty and students from the universities of Bergen, Minnesota, West Virgina and Temple. Artist performance night, Friday, August 9. http://collabcreativity.wordpress.com/

Commissioned Installations at CHF Museum, Philadelphia.
June 27, 2013-June 2014. Museum of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia. PA. Installations of Estuary and Toxi•City. http://www.chemheritage.org/visit/museum/exhibits/sensing-change.aspx

Installations Rowan University Museum of Art
March 30-May 5, 2013. Installations of 3RL and Estuary Photographic Series for the exhibition: Cosmobilities. Glassboro, NJ.

Installations at MIT8 Exhibition, M.I.T.
May 3-5. 2013. M.I.T. Cambridge, MA. Installations of Unknown Territories and 3RL.

Artist and Plenary Talks at MIT8
May 4 at 2pm, Artist Talk. Unknown Territories and May 5 at 1pm, 2013. MIT. Cambridge, MA. Plenary Session. Media In Transition 8 Conference. http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit8/

Presentation at HASTAC, Toronto
April 27, 2013. York University, Toronto. Presentation. Estuary. Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) Conference. http://hastac2013.org/

COLLABORATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS

Collaboration is a central part of my work. I work with writers, computer scienists, researchers and fellow artists. My work is carried out under various solo and collaborative organizations, LLCs and publishing groups. Some of the most pominent are:

UNKNOWNTERRITORIES.ORG is a project space designed by Roderick Coover. The works are meeting points two of more ways of working -- of art, of cinema, of information technologies, of humanities, of sciences, of spatial practices, of storymaking.

CRChange is the art production collaboratory LLC of Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg.

Toxi•City, Hearts and Minds, and Catastrophy Trilogy are produced by Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg.

Currency is a collaboration with writer Nick Montfort.

Three Rails Live is a three-way collaboration between Rod, Scott and Nick.

Canyonlands was created in collaboration with Literary Scholar, Poet and Boat Guide, Lance Newman.

Something That Happened Only Once and The Theory of Time Here were created in collaboration with author Deb Olin Unferth. Something That... also included collaboration with sound artist Jodi Gilbert and others.

William Penn At The Lighthouse is a collaboration with Nick Cassway with additional contributions from Michael Johnston and others.

Switching Codes is a collaboration with Thomas Bartscherer

PRIMARY INSTITITIONAL LINKS

MFA at FMA Temple University MFA Program in Film and Media Arts (Director)

DAEP Certificate Program in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Practice (Founding Director)

ELO Electronic Literature Organization (2015 Arts Director)

ISEA (Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts)

CAA College Arts Assocation

IVSA International Visual Sociology Association

CMS Cinema and Media Studies

UFVA University Film and Video Association

SVA Society for Visual Anthropology

AGA American Association of Geography

 

 

HEARTS AND MINDS: THE INTERROGATION INSTALLATION
Interactive video for the CAVE and CAVE2

HEARTS AND MINDS (2014) is a collaborative interactive work for 3D video installation in CAVE environments based on John Tsukayama's original research into US military interrogation techniques and torture that occurred during the Iraq War. This unique narrative suspends users between domestic origins and foreign interventions. The work is a collaboration between Roderick Coover, Scott Rettberg, John Tsukayama, Jeffrey Murer, Daria Tsoupikova and scientists of the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Illinois, Chicago. A CRChange Production.

Cave

THREE RAILS LIVE
Combinatory Narrative Video and Video Installation
A combinatory narrative film by Roderick Coover, Scott Rettberg and Nick Montfort. Running continuously, the system never generates the same narrative in the same order twice, but nevertheless produces a coherent holistic story of a man's late search for meaning among the detritus of his life and environment.

CATASTOPHE TRILOGY (KATASTROFETRILOGIEN).
Video and Installation Video Loops
This cross-cultural trilogy calls upon histories of deadly volcanic ash, great floods, and the plague to tell stories of present day longing, anxiety, and environmental change. A CRChange Production.

In LAST VOLCANO, a woman offers a fragmented account of a deadly volcanic cloud to a friend.

In RATS AND CATS:: KATTER OG ROTTER, an international telephone date between an American and a Norwegian goes veers toward histories of the black death and goes terribly wrong.

In NORWEGIAN TSUNAMI, a Scot and a Norwegian share a cigarette break on an oil rig in the North Sea at a wrong moment.

WILLIAM PENN AT THE LIGHTHOUSE
Video Spectacle: Forthcoming Oct 29-Nov 5 2014.
Part of the Knight-Funded Animated Architecture Series, this work featured a projected narrative event over the entire face and tower of Philadelphia's City Hall. Running for two weekends the work transforms City Hall into a lighthouse and project upon it a looping short narrative blending themes of the city's construction and impending risks of flooding in our Age of Sea-Level Rise.

 

OTHER STORIES, POEMS AND POETICS

THE THEORY OF TIME HERE. Digital Video. DVD. 7 Minutes. Distributed by The Video Data Bank, Chicago. Date of Publication: 2008.

CURRENCY: FOUR EXPERIMENTS IN THE DIGITAL POEM. Distributed on YouTube. Co-created with writer Nick Monfort.

SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED ONLY ONCE. 2007. Animated Panorama. DVD. 23 minutes.

STHOO


ABOUT RODERICK COOVER

Roderick Coover (b. 1967) is Director of the MFA Program in Film and Media Arts at Temple University, and Founding Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Practices. He has pioneered emergent forms of cinema with works made for screen, interactive media, database cinema, photographic installation, photographic publication, web media, gaming media and scholarship. His works -- both of fact and fiction -- blend arts and research, and blur conventional, discipinary boundaries. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago(PhD 1999), Brown University (MA 1994) and Cornell University (1989). He has received Fulbight, Mellon, Whiting and LEF awards, among others. He lives in Philadelphia.


ABOUT THIS WEBSITE

This site features solo and collaborative works by the artist Roderick Coover. The works featured were created between 1996-present. These works include experimental and interactive documentary projects, narrative projects, and hybrid works using time-based media such as film and video. They also include interactive landscapes, photographic series, and publications.

Here are some dominant themes: Spatial practice is explored across these works both in form and content -- works such as Hearts and Minds, Toxi•City, Catasthrophe Trilogy and Something That Happened Only Once use experimental forms of panorama and immersion to explore narrative constructions of space and story. Works such as Three Rails Live, Toxi•City, Currency and Theory of Time Here experiment in uses of temporal structures like combinatory filmmaking, Oulipian editing and montage, while others like Estuaries, The Unknown Territories Series, and Cultures In Webs use scrolling interactive environments to explore how places are imagined, encountered and used.

Creative approaches to the discourse of climate change and industrialization are explored in the combinatory narrative projects Toxi•City and Three Rails Live, in the research-based, interactive works Chemical Map and Estuaries, and in the animated architecture project, Ben Franklin at the Lighthouse. Broader questions of land use, landscape and senses of place are central to the Unknown Territories Projects, Inside/Outsie and the experimental ethnography, The Language of Wine. Those works and The Catastrophe Trilogy contribute to creative discourse in eco-poetics.

Memory, place and story are central theme in Estuaries, Hearts and Minds, Something That Happened Only Once, and The Harvest. Relationships between memory and history are explored in The Catastrophe Series, Voyage Into The Unknown, and Canyonlands. Time, technological authority and spatial practice is the subject of several works including The Theory Of Time Here and the book Switching Codes.

Three Rails Live, Toxi•City, Currency, Something That Happened Only Once, Theory of Time Here, and the Catastrophe Trilogy are art installations and videos exploring story, translation and the stucture of visual and verbal expression, while documentary works on these themes of language and expression include The Language of Wine and Cultures In Webs.

Documentary arts, ethnography and visual research techniques run throughout the projects -- both fiction and nonfiction, and they are central the innovative documentary works Hearts and Minds, Unknown Territories, Estuaries, Language of Wine, Cultures In Webs and The Harvest. Documentary imagery is blended creative fictions and other imagery in the narrative works. Issues of documentary representation and visual research are critically addressed in Verite To Vitual: Conversations on the Frontier of Documentary Film and Anthropology and in many of the writings.

Critical reflection upon approaches to experimental digital methods including combinatory filmmaking, installation, collaboration and interdisciplinarity that central to all these works are discussed at length through writings along with other reflections on film, art, and key-words of art-research practices.


TEACHING LINKS

MFAprogram

MFA at FMA. Making Cinema
Temple University Graduate Master of Fine Arts Program

The Master of Fine Arts program in Film and Media Arts at Temple University is the country’s foremost program in alternative film and video. The program offers arrays in Narrative and Documentary Cinematic Arts, Media Arts and Screenwriting. We train new generations of makers who seek to challenge the current practices of mainstream arts and media. We see the MFA program as a creative laboratory for producing works of social significance and artistic merit and for exploring the nature of contemporary knowledge in the field, including the emergence of new technologies and the connections between theory and practice. Read More

Graduate Certificate in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Practice (DAEP)
Temple University’s Graduate Certificate Program in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Practice (DAEP) is a 13-credit interdisciplinary program that involves faculty and courses in the Center of the Arts, the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Media and Communication.  The DAEP program’s philosophy is to promote a broad and critical use of diverse media tools in the study and representation of culture(s). The program is open to students in M.F.A. and Ph.D. programs university-wide and it is ideally suited for students who plan to incorporate visual studies, ethnographic methods and documentary practices in their artistic and scholarly projects. For Temple University PhD and MFA students only. Read More

FALL 2014 COURSE: Documentary Arts and Visual Research, Workshop
This course brings together makers and researchers to foster original nonfiction projects. Graduate students from across the university in such as fields of film, video, photography, anthropology, history, mass media and communication, ethnic studies, women's studies, and philosophy join together in developing new ways of conceptualizing documentary arts.  Students examine methods, language, ethics, and processes of nonfiction visual research. All students contribute to written discussion boards and they produce creative and/or critical final projects. Students learn ways to work together across disciplines and collaborative projects are encouraged. Students are expected to complete highly developed papers and projects that are directly related to their anticipated thesis topics, methods, and goals. Graduate Students Only.

SPRING 2015 COURSE: Visualizing The Unconscious: Cinema And The Surreal
Students explore the representation of the unconscious, the surreal and the logic of dreams through cinema, notably cinema of diverse cultures. The course is highly interdisciplinary, drawing upon readings in the areas such as fiction, art history, visual studies and philosophy as well as classic works of psychology, surrealism and cinema studies. Special attention is given to how relationships between language, image and performance are articulated through the cinema and cinematic adaptations of literary works by Kafka, Burroughs and others.  Assignments include regular short discussion papers, as well as midterm and final papers/projects. Honors Students Only.