Unknown Territories

Roderick Luis Coover

New And Recent Works



Interweaving sound, language and image, The Altering Shores Cycle includes large-scale projected and immersive experiences, locative experiences and live concerts. These works reframe questions of sea-level rise, migration and extinction, in which familiar places -- and the memories and dreams that attend them -- are transformed by rising waters; the work gives rise to acts of recognition, utterance and transformation.   
      Using code changes shaped by tidal movements, the system draws upon images and text gathered over a decade of exploration and filming in the marshlands and industrial wastelands of our local Delaware River watershed and others worldwide. 



The database is expanded in It Will Happen Here with each installation.  The experience presents a kaleidoscope of climate futures through fragmented language and multi-layered sounds and images. Disruptions of language, spatial disorientation and fragmented media propel users to refigure history and give utterance to current crises. Written observations and images filmed at local industrial, post-industrial and natural sites are entered to into the system. to merge like images of other shores to intermingle histories, conditions and consequences as well as suggesting local differences. Algorithms combine the images to suggest unfolding events before breaking apart; like the tides the future is always in flux. Participants are guided through this uncertain terrain by lead artist Roderick Coover, poet Nick Montfort, and composer Adam Vidiksis. More...



An immersive experience for installation, performance, and locative media. By  Roderick Coover with computational text by Nick Montfort and sound by Adam Vidiksis

Hydrophones places in the tidal waters, signals trigger a code-driven combination of images, generative text and sound that spans the industrial pier. Users access videos using GPS and QR codes to to experience places on a map. Their phones contribute to the sound scape. A large-scale image resulting from tidal-driven coded interventions plays in the center of the pier.  The work asks how familiar places are transformed by rising waters, and it provokes the public to put into words the unspeakable threats posed to existence, time and belonging.  Water On The Pier premiered at Cherry Street Pier during the Philadelphia 2021 Fringe Arts Festival.  More...



An GPS-based, immersive experience for locative media. By Roderick Coover with computational text by Nick Montfort and sound by Adam Vidiksis

Interweaving sound, language and image, this commissioned work takes users on virtual journeys. The work is filmed along the Thames in the UK and the Delaware River estuary in the US, two of the earliest developed regions of the industrial revolution. The public follows a walking tour to find the locations of the VR experiences using GPS. Drawing upon the visual research projects, Estuary and Chemical Map, the text asks users to participate in naming the conditions of a contaminated shoreline and the legacies of the industrial era cultural paradigms.   Locative Shores was the recipient of a Penn Program Artist-In-Residence Fellowship and other awards and premiered November 2019. View sample.



Estuary is one of a series of maps following visual research, scientific studies and archival research on industrial legacies, natural environments, and anticipated flooding along industrialized and post-industrial waterways. The scrolling account of my explorations on kayak of the Delaware River, ironically following the form of the Exploring Expedition Logs of the 19th Century to reflect on the current environmental consequences of the Industrial Revolution. Designed for large scale installation and published as an artist book, Estuary is accompanied by GPS-based map experiences for locative media. View sample.




An immersive experience for domes, CAVEs installations and projection. By Roderick Coover and Krzysztof Wolek

The Key To Time is a highly imaginative, immersive experience designed for immersive cinematic experiences like 360 cinemas, CAVES and domes that asks questions about how ideas about time, space and narrative are transformed through immersive media. In a surreal play on the genre of the "space opera", a young scientist who is trying to make a time-travel machine in the 1920s is propelled two hundred years forward into a bleak future environment. His only chance is to travel through dreams. But dreams can also be nightmares... The 50-minute experience includes performances from award-winning vocalists and actors including Joanna Freszel, Emily Albrink, Chad Sloan, Katherine Calcamuggio, Jesse Donner and it was sponsored through a major award from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of their series +100. More...

Also in French: La clé du temps, version Français...



An immersive experience for VR head-mounted displays. By Roderick Coover, Nick Montfort, Adam Vidiksis

Winner of Critics Choice at the Experimental Film Festival, this short film is a surreal, lyrical VR experience in which a protagonist struggles to overcome anxieties and nightmares. In the process, he journeys across environments large and small from travels in space to others inside clocks and zoetropes.

Meet Me At The Station is created by filmmaker/media artist Roderick Coover (USA/FR) and composer Krzysztof Wolek (PL) and, the lyrics are based on an original text by Deb Olin Unferth(USA). The 10-minute experience is designed for virtual reality headsets, film/video festivals and installations. 



A combinatory and generated work for video installation by
Alejandro Albornoz, Roderick Coover, Scott Rettberg.

Using a similar combinatory structure to that of Raymond Queneau's Cent mille milliards de poèmes, this computer code-driven combinatory film addresses themes of longing, mass extinction, and migration. It is created by Roderick Coover (video), Alejandro Albornoz (sound), and Scott Rettberg (text and code). VIEW TRAILER

Penelope is one of several highly experimental, poetic and narrative algorithm-based combinatory and generative works made by Coover and his collaborators for installations, performances and other arts venues. Combinatory and generative works combine images, text and sound according to complex rules creating works which are always changing; no two versions are the same. As a set, others include The Altering Shores, Toxi•City: A Climate Narrative, Three Rails Live. PLAY PENELOPE IN LIVE COMBINATORY FORM



A combinatory film for installation, cinema and projection environments by Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg

Fictional oral histories from the future are set against nonfictional accounts of actual deaths that occurred during Hurricane Sandy in a combinatory film about sea-level change and flooding in an urban and industrialized region on America's North Atlantic Coast. Using computer code to draw fragments from a database in changing configurations every time it is shown, the film offers moments of resolution, contact and visions of the future, before the narratives are broken apart and a fresh cycle begins. Learn more

The award-winning Toxi•City was exhibited at the 2017 Venice Biennale Hyper-Pavilion among numerous arts venues and festivals and is designed both for arts installations and cinematic screenings. Toxi•City is one of a several works made by Coover and Rettberg that address issues of climate change, migration, extinction and human rights through experimental video arts and writing in the collaboratory, PLAY TOXICITY IN LIVE COMBINATORY FORM

An interactive, immersive experience by Roderick Coover, Scott Rettberg, Daria Tsoupikova, and Arthur Nishimoto.

An interactive, immersive, and cinematic gaming environment draws users into the haunting memories of ordinary American soldiers who became torturers in the course of serving their country. It foregrounds veterans' testimonies of US military enhanced interrogation practices and human rights abuses during the Iraq War, often by young and ill-trained soldiers who never entered the military to become torturers and find themselves struggling to reconcile the activities they were asked to do.  

Hearts And Minds was featured at the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum, The Olso Human Rights Film Festival, and ISEA Hong Kong 360 Cinema among numerous arts venues and festivals and is designed both for arts installations and cinematic screenings. Learn more... 


Other works



Two interactive, map-based works for installation and the Web

Estuary is a scrolling account of my explorations on kayak of the Delaware River, ironically following the form of the Exploring Expedition Logs of the 19th Century to reflect on the current environmental consequences of the Industrial Revolution. Chemical Map is a GIS based resource created in 2013 that was used in fieldwork to record details about the Delaware River Estuary and the chemicals that reside in potential future flood zones.  



Video work for installation and projection by Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg

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 woman offers a fragmented account of a deadly volcanic cloud to a friend, an international telephone date between an American and a Norwegian goes veers toward histories of the black death, a Scot and a Norwegian share a cigarette break on an oil rig in the North Sea at a wrong moment. Learn more...
Published in Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, Vol. 12
Version française: Le Dernier Volcan 



A combinatory narrative video for installation by Roderick Coover, Nick Montfort and Scott Rettberg

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. Exhibited at the Bibliotheque National de France, Bergen International Film Festival, and numerous other international venues. Published in New River Journal.Mobirise offers many site blocks in several themes, and though these blocks are pre-made, they are flexible.  
or in French: La version française


Conversations On The Frontier Of Documentary Arts And Visual Anthropology

A documentary film/DVD.

Vérité To Virtual features discussions with over a dozen leading filmmakers and scholars to ask how to bridge practices of the arts, social sciences and the humanities. Featuring conversations with Lucien Taylor, Noel Carroll, Michel Brault, Rebecca Baron and others. Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources. See also related publications in the journal, Visual Studies. Available to view here, on Kanopy. Available to purchase from DER. Read the article with the film transcript published in Visual Studies Journal, here



A Flash-based interactive environment for installations and the Web

Users join John Wesley Powell on the 1869 exploring expedition of the uncharted waters of the Colorado River. The interactive work asks how landscapes are imagined, named, and represented with special attention given to the logs of Powell's boatman who contest Powell's accounts and the illuminating photographs of E. O. Beaman, John Hillers and James Fennemore on which drawn images of the voyage were based. Published in the Electronic Literature Collection, Vol. 2. Since the termination of Flash, the work is not viewable in its original form. A video scroll-through is forthcoming.



 A documentary film and Flash-based interactive environment.

Following Edward Abbey's writings as a guide, viewers encounter landscapes transformed by development, park preservation and dams. It features interviews with Ken Sleight, Katie Lee, Jim Stiles and others. The cycle includes an interactive cinematic environment with original videos, archival videos maps, photos, writings and other items, and there is also a 50-minute documentary film about Ed Abbey and the Great American Desert. View a sample of the documentary here. Since the termination of Flash, the interactive work is not viewable in its original form. A video scroll-through of the interactive version is forthcoming. 



A video for installation and screening by Roderick Coover and Deb Olin Unferth

Created by Roderick Coover with writer Deb Olin Unferth, this work explores the speaking clock and its proverbial voice. Its repetitive, calming tone distracts from the fact that it represents a marriage of the two most inescapable and oppressive authorities—-technology and time. Described in Art Papers as "a tour de force composed with the tightness of a baroque fugue," The Theory Of Time Here premiered in a solo show at the Klein Gallery and played at the Deluge Contemporary Art Gallery, 17 Days Traveling Exhibition, Antimatter Film Festival, Flint Institute of Arts, and Digital Arts Conference Gallery, among others. .  Distributed by VideoDataBank.  Learn more...



A video for installation and screening by Roderick Coover, Deb Olin Unferth and Jodi Gilbert

Something That Happened Only Once is panoramic work recorded in Coyocan Plaza, Mexico City. The work blends the actions of actors and non-actors in the natural setting on a busy Saturday afternoon. The work is created through layers of photography, songs, and found sounds. Deb Olin Unferth's lyrics are adapted to music by the Dutch singer Jodi Gilbert who is joined in the performance by Dutch saxophonist, Michael Moore. Featured at AMC SIGGRAPH, Krannert Museum and elsewhere.  



A video and literary experience for installation by Roderick Coover and Nick Montfort

A series of highly experimental video and language collaborative works created using rigorous constraints building upon legacies of the Oulipo group. The constraint systems maximized collaborative creativity. Currency includes four one-minute video loops designed for small viewing devices each created using a differing constraint system, while Fathoms is an animated series of collages and poetic couplets designed for computer monitor viewing and/or video wall installation.  



Commissioned interactive media arts installation, APS Museum at Independence Hall, Philadelphia.

This interactive installation takes visitors on an adventure into histories hidden in the urban landscape in a three-block area of Philadelphia around Independence Hall. Videos were added bi-monthly to the scrolling panorama in its 18month tour at this prominent public space.  


THE LANGUAGE OF WINE: An Anthropology Of Work, Wine And The Senses 

A documentary film/DVD.

Blending ethnography and eco-poetics, this documentary follows terms of winemaking in Bourgogne as provocative metaphors to understanding local views on fundamental life issues and cultural conditions. Read Anna Grimshaw's review of The Language of Wine and Cultures in Webs in American Anthropologist. The Language Of Wine first toured with live orchestration before being released on DVD. Now available for free on Vimeo. In French and English with English subtitles. View the film here.



Interactive documentary environment for installations and the Web.

An interactive, cultural multimedia study of a wine harvest at the vineyards of A&P de Villaine in Bourgogne and one of the first to offer a scrolling approach to the photo with text, videos and secondary slide shows. It uses methods of ethnography and observational photography. The work was first installed in 1998 and a version is published in Cultures in Webs in 2003.  Michael Joyce writes, "Cultures in Webs is state of the art story telling as well as a user’s guide to the world of representations of cultural difference..."View the Harvest Here.



Interactive documentary.

One of the earliest interactive documentaries, Concealed Narratives was filmed in Ghana 1992-1993, in the year following the formation of its Fourth Republic under then president-elect J.J. Rawlings. The work concerns ways political narratives are concealed within imagery and performance. It was first developed in Macromind Director and Storyspace and later published in HTML in Cultures In Webs.  Learn more...

Select Interviews And Conversations

Storytelling in VR, CAVES and Other Emerging Forms: An interview with Roderick Coover by Katarzyna Boratyn published in IMAGES vol. XXI/no. 30 Poznań 2017 ISSN 1731-450x. Read...

Location and Immersion: A conversation with Roderick Coover and Bethany Wiggin. Published for the CLIMATE ARTS AND DATA STORYTELLING conference and art exhibition (streaming). WATCH VIDEO...

Roderick Coover in conversation with Pat Badani on Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project. Published in NMC MEDIA-N Journal. Read...

The Poetics of Combinatory Cinema: An interview by David Jhave Johnston with Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg. Published in SOUND EFFECTS Journal.  Read...

Interview With Roderick Coover by Massimo Riva. TECHNO NEWS streaming television, Italy. In English, with an Italian introduction. 

Digital Technologies, Visual Research And The Non-Fiction Image: Roderick Coover, Pat Badani, Flavia Caviezel, Mark Marino, Nitin Sawhney and William Uricchio In Conversation in ADVANCES IN VISUAL METHODOLOGIES, ed. Sarah Pink. Read...



Literature And Cinema Of The Database       

Bloomsbury Academic, 2020. ISBN: 9781501347566

The Digital Imaginary is an invaluable and elucidative analysis of the current 'state of this art' by authors and artists who are thinking and working at its leading edge. Its penetrating case studies and conversations map best current practices and beguiling future possibilities 
   -- Jeffrey Shaw, Artist, Professor, City University of Hong Kong 

The Digital Imaginary figures vital, and some of the best, aspects of an emergent world... by creating just the kind of “discursive community” that its collection of interviews and essays – recursively, self-reflexively – celebrates.
    -- John Cayley, Brown University

Over the past half century, computing has profoundly altered the ways stories are imagined and told. Immersive, narrative, and database technologies transform creative practices and hybrid spaces revealing and concealing the most fundamental acts of human invention: making stories. The Digital Imaginary illuminates these changes by bringing leading North American and European writers, artists and scholars, like Sharon Daniel, Stuart Moulthrop, Nick Montfort, Kate Pullinger and Geof Bowker, to engage in discussion about how new forms and structures change the creative process. Available from Bloomsbury Press in hard cover, electronic publication and limited open access.  Learn more 


Thinking Through Digital Technology In The Humanities And Art

At a moment when culture’s digital makeover seems to have induced epistemological vertigo in many, Switching Codes offers a timely and well-targeted intervention... --William Uricchio, M.I.T.

Switching Codes brings together leading American and European scholars, scientists, and artists—including Charles Bernstein, Ian Foster, Bruno Latour, and Richard Powers—to consider how the precipitous growth of digital information and its associated technologies are transforming the ways we think and act. Read a review in Visual Studies Journal. Published by the University of Chicago Press. Read sample.  Learn More...


Hyperrhiz 14 Journal Edition

Edited by Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg, this issue of Hyperrhiz features a select number of works that were exhibited in at the 2015 Electronic Literature Organization Literary Media Arts Festival, The End(s) of Electronic Literature.

The festival itself was envisioned as a radical and progressive new stage for ELO, bridging core literary practices with radical terminalia seen through diverse kinds of art and computing. Published by North Carolina State University.   Read it here.


Hypermedia And The Documentary Image

"Brilliant and compelling.... Roderick Coover raises hypermedia ethnography to the level of art..." -- Michael Joyce, Author of Afternoon A Story

Rod Coover’s Cultures in Webs points us to the future - a future that is most exciting and promising. -- Jay Ruby. Author of Image Ethics in the Digital World.

Cultures In Webs is an interactive CD-ROM which features hypermedia approaches to cross-cultural filmmaking, photography and new media. Read Lucien Taylor's introduction to Cultures In Webs here.  Samples The Harvest and Concealed Narratives can be viewed online.  Published by Eastgate Systems. Learn more...

Select Essays And Artist Papers

Imaginaires numériques: le film interactif, algorithmique, immersif et géolocalisé.  Cahier Louis-Lumière n°13. 2020. In French/ en français. Read Sample...

Addressing Torture in Iraq through Critical Digital Media Art—Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project. Roderick Coover, Scott Rettberg, Daria Tsoupikova, Arthur Nishimoto. Forthcoming in Electronic Book Review. 2021. Read it...

Voices from Troubled Shores: Toxi•City: a Climate Change Narrative. Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg. Electronic Book Review. November, 2018. Read Sample...

Ambiguity, cinema and the digital documentary image. Images, Ethics, Technology. Edited by Sharrona Pearl. New York and London: Routledge Press. 2015. Read Sample...

Visual Research And The New Documentary. Studies in Documentary Film, 6.2. Winter 2013. Read Sample...

Picturing the Great Unknown. On Writing With Photography. Edited by Liliane Weissberg and Karen Beckman. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. Read Sample...

Digital Technologies, Visual Research and the Non-fiction Image. Advances in Visual Methodology. Edited by Sarah Pink. London: SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012. Read Sample...

Interactive Media Representation. The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods. Edited by Eric Margolis and Luc Pauwels. London: SAGE Publications, Inc. 2011. Read Sample...

A Dialogue about the Desert. Roderick Coover, Larry McCaffery, Lance Newman and Hikmet Loe. Electronic Book Review. February, 2010. Read Sample...

Artifacts: Displacements Of Technological Culture And The Concept Of Foreignness. Media-N Journal. Spring 2009.  Read it...

On Vérité to Virtual: Conversations on the Frontier of Visual Anthropology and Documentary Mediamaking. Journal of Visual Studies. Fall 2009. Read it...

Taking A Scroll: Text, Image and the Construction of Meaning in a Digital Panorama. Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures. Summer 2009. Read it...

Le panorama digital et l’image documentaire aujourd’hui : quand la transgression d’un postulat naturaliste crée l’innovation. Ethnographiques. Summer, 2008. En français...

Interactive Media And The Construction(S) Of Memory In Nonfiction Film. In The Cinema Of Robert Gardner, edited by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor.  Berg/Palgrave. 2008.  Read Sample...

Czech Dreams In A Capitalist Republic. Film International. May 2007. Read Sample...

Filmmaker To Filmmaker: Robert Gardner And The Cinematic Process. American Anthropologist. September 2007. Read Sample...

Politics of the Pomelo: Fighting Censorship In Malaysia. Cineaste Film Journal. June 2007.  

Touchy Subjects: An interview with Malaysian Filmmaker Amir Muhammad. Cineaste Film Journal. June 2007.  

DUST, An American Western In The Balkan Wild East; An interview with Milcho Manchevski. Film Quarterly. Winter 2005. Read Sample...

Working With Images, Images Of Work: Using Digital Interface, Photography, And Hypertext In Ethnography. In Working Images. Edited By Sarah Pink. London: Routledge. 2004. Read Sample...

Using Digital Tools In Cross-Cultural Research Analysis And Representation. Journal of Visual Studies. Summer 2004. Read it...

Contexts And Appearances: Using Images And Text In Nonfiction Digital Storytelling. NMEDIAC On-Line Journal Of New Media And Culture, University of North Carolina Press. Fall 2003. Read it...  

Gardner And Östör: Making Forest Of Bliss. Roderick Coover and Lucien Taylor. American Anthropologist Centennial Edition. June, 2002.  Read it...

Worldmaking, Metaphors, And Montage In The Representation Of Cultures: Cross-Cultural Filmmaking And The Poetics Of Robert Gardner's Forest Of Bliss. Visual Anthropology 14(4), 2001. Read it...


Database Film

An artist talk about combinatory film given to the Society For Cinema Studies in 2022. Watch it. 

Human Collaboration and Machine Generation Across Media

A collaborative artist talk with Roderick Coover, Nick Montfort and Scott Rettberg (and the computer) at ISEA 2020.  Watch it.

Interrogating Torture

A panel discussion following the screening of Hearts And Minds: The Interrogations Project at the Human Rights/Human Wrongs Film Festival, Oslo. 2016. Watch it.


Roderick Coover is the creator or co-creator of works of interactive, experimental and emergent cinema, virtual reality and digital arts such as The Key To Time, The Altering Shores, Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project, and Toxi•City: A Climate Change Narrative. He is also the maker of documentary films and interactive, documentary research projects such as The Unknown Territories Project, From Verite to Virtual: Conversations On The Frontiers Of Anthropology And Documentary Film and Cultures In Webs: Working In Hypermedia With The Documentary Image. His works are designed for the screen, interactive media, database cinema, photographic installation, online multimedia publication, CAVE environments and head-mounted displays, and he has been a pioneering creator of some of the earliest forms of interactive cinema and digital, ethnographic arts.

He exhibits internationally in art venues such as the Venice Biennale, film festivals like the Philadelphia International FF, hybrid festivals like Documenta Madrid, public spaces like the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, and public events like the Nobel Peace Prize Forum as well as frequent exhibitions with digital arts groups like ISEA, SIGGGRAPH and ELO.   He is the recipient of a 2022-2024 Fulbright Fellowship to France and has received prior awards from Mellon, Whiting, Spire LEF, USIS Fulbright (Africa), among others. His publications of research, conversations and artist papers include, among others, the books The Digital Imaginary: Literature And Cinema Of The Database and, with Thomas Bartscherer, Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology In The Humanities And Arts. Professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple University, Philadelphia, he holds degrees from the University of Chicago (PhD 1999), Brown University (MA 1994) and Cornell University (1989). He lives in the USA and France.

Select exhibitions and screenings

2023 Splice Festival, ELO Festival Coimbra, Embassy of France at Washington DC, SEAMUS (New York); 2022; ISEA International Barcelona, ELO Festival Como; 2021 Cherry Street Pier, The Philadelphia Fringe Arts Festival, New Bern Experimental Film Fest, ELO Festival (Aarhus-Bergen-Vancouver), Varese International Film Festival, London Lift-Off Festival, Jena FullDome 2020 Film Festival, Deep Play Exhibition Philadelphia. Speed Cinema and Louisville New Music Festival, Louisville Planetarium, Louisville Music and Art Festival, University of Louisville; Tetramatyka Festival, Lviv, Ukraine; Filmteractive VR Festival, Lodz, Poland; The Glowing Globe 2019, Science-Fiction-Art Festival, Rijeka Croatia; Hyperobjects, Worth Ryder Art Gallery, University of California, Berkeley; G! Festival. Faroe Islands; ISCMA Art Machines: International Symposium on Computational Media, Hong Kong; ICIDS 2018 International Conference for Interactive Digital Storytelling Art Show, Dublin; Oslo Poetry Film Festival; EcoDH, Bergen; ELO Media Arts Festival Performance Night, Montreal; i-docs Festival planetarium special event screening; "Uchronia", The Wrong Bienalle, Montreal; Nobel Peace Prize Forum, Minneapolis; Venice Biennale Hyper-Pavillion, Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival; ANIMATOR Festival, Poznań, Poland; Electronic Literature Organization Juried Media Arts Exhibition, Porto, Portugal; Inishbofin Cultural Conversations Festival; Other Codes / Cóid Eile: Digital Literature in Context Conference Exhibition, National University of Ireland; Whitehead Lecture Series Screening, Goldsmiths University; Anthropocene, Juried Exhibition, Fuse Factory & Pearl Conard Art Gallery, Ohio; SIGGRAPH Asia 2016 VR Showcase, Macao. 6 December. Hearts and Minds; Piksel Festival of Digital Art, Norway; Alt/Future Film Festival, Taipai; Shapeshifting Texts, Universität Bremen, Germany; RIRRA 21, Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier; Nottingham International Microfilm Festival; EcoHack 2016; Bergen International Film Festival - Expanded Cinema Selection; SEA(S) International Art Exhibition, Ithaca, Greece; Medialab Katowice; DH2016 Digital Humanities Screening, Krakow, Poland; Bunkier Suzuki Gallery Krakow; Electronic Literature Organization Media Arts Festival; Hearts and Minds; Electronic Poetry Festival. Moscow, Russia; ISEA International, Hong Kong; DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Notre Dame University; Olso Poetry Film Festival, 2016; Museo Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona; SIGGRAPH 2015, Automat Gallery, Philadelphia; ISEA, Vancouver; Placing the Golden Spike: Landscapes of the Anthropocene, INOVA Gallery, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee; Human Rights/Human Wrongs International Film Festival, Oslo. Hearts and Minds; HASTAC Screening, East Lansing; IEEE Media Arts Exhibition, Paris; Flow and Fracture, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Eletronic Visualization Lab CAVE2™, University of Illinois, Chicago; Electronic Literature Organization Featured Screening, Milwaukee; Hybrid, Paris8 Event; Disperse the Light Electronic Writing and Media Arts Festival, Milwaukee; Fast Forward, Design-Philadelphia Festival, Philadelphia; Bibliothèque Nationale de France François-Mitterand, Paris; Sensing Change, Science History Museum ; Media In Transition 8 Exhibition, MIT, Cambridge; Bergen Public Library; Rowan University Museum of Art; Society for Visual Anthropology Juried Film and New Media Festival; Rom 8 Gallery, Bergen Academy of Art and Design; Inside the Moment, Crane Arts Center; Gazela Tall Ship, Philadelphia; Electrifying Literature Affordances and Constraints, Electronic Literature Organization Juried Media Arts Show; Interrupt 2, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Brown University; Instants Vidéo Numériques et poétiques, Marseille, Martigues, Port-de-Bouc, Vitrolles, Nice, Bédarieux, Paris, Milan, Mexico City and Camargey (Cuba); 3rd Sadho Poetry Festival, New Delhi, 2011; Waterpieces Contemporary Arts & Video Festival; CologneOFF, Riga; CologneOFF, Beirut; Short Shorts; i-Docs, Bristol, UK. Unknown Territories; Hidden Cinema of the Southwest, Tucson; Central School Project Art Center, Bisbee; Cinematek USF, Bergen, Norway; Ethnographic Terminalia; NewMediaFest  Cologne; Disposable Films Festival, San Francisco; Roger Williams University Gallery, RI; Digital Arts Conference Literary Arts Gallery, Irvine; Subito Gallery, Boulder; Kipp Gallery, Indianna Univ. of Pennsylvania; Landmark Arts Center, Bergen, Norway; 1.5 Million, Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery; FILE  - Electronic Language International Festival in Sao Paulo; 7th International Film Festival Yerevan; COLOGNE OFF; Pocket Films Festival, Paris; Synesthesia, Painted Bride Gallery, Philadelphia; Act Artifact, Temple Art Gallery Event Space; Flint Institute of Arts, Flint; Deluge Contemporary Art Gallery, Victoria; /Seconds Film Festival, UK; Centre De Cultura Contemporanea, Barcelona; The Art Gallery, University of Maryland New Media Exhibition; Krannert Museum, Champaign; Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia; Interrupt Fringe Festival, Providence; Visionary Landscapes, North Park Gallery, Vancouver; International Ethnographic Film Festival, Göttingen; XVI International Festival of Ethnological Film, Ethnographic Museum of Belgrade; ISVA Keynote Screening, Buenos Aires; 17 Days, University of Western Michigan Gallery And Travelling Exhibition; Antimatter Underground Film Festival, Victoria; Undaunted: Five American Explorers 1760-2007, Museum of the American Philosophical Society; ACM SIGGRAPH, San Diego; Split Film and Media Arts Festival, Split Croatia; Esther Klein Gallery, Philadelphia; Philadelphia Film Festival, Philadelphia; Documenta Madrid Film Festival, Madrid; Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Ithaca; Institute of Ethnology / Museum of Ethnology, Neuchatel; Mediating Practices Film Festival, Philadelphia; International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Florence; Sonoma Wine Country Film Festival, Sonoma.

Teaching/Academic Leadership

On the academic side, Roderick Coover is Professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia and recipient of a Lindback Award For Excellence In Teaching. He is the Founding Director of the PhD-MFA Program in Documentary Arts and Visual Research (DAVR), Founding Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Practice (DAEP) and Founding Co-Director the MA in MediaXarts: Cinema for new technologies and environments. He was also Director of the MFA Program in Film and Media Arts, 2014-2018, Other initiatives include the creation of the Temple-UPenn graduate exchange award, a VR initiative to bring green room facilities and VR production to Temple, international courses and/or residencies with the University of Bergen (Norway), the University of Montpellier (France), and the University of Lille (France), and others. He mentors PhD, MFA, MA, and BFA students in Film and Media Arts as well as BA students in the university honors program, of which he is an active faculty member.  

PhD-MFA Program in Documentary Arts and Visual Research (DAVR)

Founding Director  

The dual-degree PhD-MFA Program in Documentary Arts and Visual Research (DAVR) is designed for students who have completed an MFA in Film and Media Arts or a related field and wish to expand their work through a critically engaged project. Dissertation projects may be developed using emerging and multimedia tools and approaches. Learn more...  

Graduate Certificate Program in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Practice (DAEP)

Founding Director

Temple University’s Graduate Certificate Program in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Practice (DAEP) is a 13-credit interdisciplinary program that promotes a broad and critical use of diverse media tools in the study and representation of culture(s). For Temple University PhD and MFA students only. Learn more...  

MA Program in mediaXarts: Cinema for new technologies and environments

Founding Co-Director

This Master of Arts program at Temple University gives students the opportunity to work with leading artists to learn methods of making works with emerging cinematic technologies through collaborations across cinematic fields, theater, fine arts and visual research. Learn more...  

Contacts and invitations

You can write to Roderick Coover via this email: cinemascapes "-at-" gmail "-dot-" com. Contact form.


Collaboration is a central part of my work. I work with writers, computer scientists, researchers and fellow artists. My work is carried out under various solo and collaborative organizations, LLCs and publishing groups. Some of the most prominent 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.
Chouette Collective LLC is a cultural industries & activities collaboratory of Roderick Coover and Catherine Peyrot Des Gachons.
CRChange is the art production collaboratory of Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg.
The Key To Time is a collaboration with Roderick Coover and Krzysztof Wolek produced by Chouette Collective, Institute Adam Mickiewizc, and Centrum Technologii Audiowizualnych with additional support from TR Theater. Louisville University and Temple University.
•The Altering Shores is a collaboration of Roderick Coover, Nick Montfort and Adam Vidiksis made with support from the University of Pennsylvania Program in Environmental Humanities, The University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.
Penelope, Toxi•City, Hearts and Minds, Circe, and Catastrophe Trilogy are produced by Roderick Coover, Scott Rettberg and CRChange.
•Currency and Fathoms are collaborations 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 river 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 saxophonist Michael Moore.
•Switching Codes is an edited book made collaboration with Thomas Bartscherer.


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