Roderick Coover

Roderick Coover's works employ digital media to explore point of contacts between technologies, the social sciences and the humanities. Some themes include visual geographies, interactive panoramic, cultural narratives and their collective representations, and word-image relationships.

“Voyage into the Unknown” is the first of two “Interactive Panoramic Environments and Cinemascapes.” grounded in narratives of historical journeys across specific geographies. This piece mediates upon the John Wesley Powell expedition of 1869. Reworking pre-digital formats of the panorama, Coover recasts a narrative space that has a hypertextual fictive dimension but engages the reader in a multi-dimensional kind of journey: providing an immersive experience and, at the same time, creating an opening for achieving a critical distance and reflectiveness. Discussing the piece, Coover writes “The landscapes of Unknown Territories literalize the metaphor of making paths. In these panoramic environments, time-based cognition and text-based knowledge acquisition may go hand in hand, or may clash like objects in a collage colliding on field on which, at first glance, they would not seem to belong. The borders between reading and viewing blur in an active process that reveals its construction and expository processes, leading viewers to engage with the director in the process of constructing meaning out of experience.”

Roderick Coover is an Assistant Professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple University. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University (1989), a M.A. in English with a specialization in cross-cultural film and performance from Brown University (1994) and a Ph.D. in the History of Culture with a specialization in media arts and anthropology from the University of Chicago (1999). Coover's films and new media works been shown at international venues such as Documenta Madrid, SIGGRAPH, and DAC. These works include films such as From Vérité to Virtual, interactive works such as Unknown Territories and Cultures in Webs, and museum installations such as Something That Happened Only Once and Outside/Inside. His distributed media works include the documentary, Language of Wine and the CD-ROM, Cultures In Webs: Working in hypermedia with the documentary image. Published in journals such as Visual Anthropology and Visual Studies, Coover is the recipient of LEF, Fulbright and Mellon fellowships, among others.

Taking A Scroll:T ext, Image and the Construction of Meaning in a Digital Panorama

Majid Mgamis
Sameer Al-Shraah