Roderick Coover: Something That Happened Only Once

  • ©2007, Roderick Coover



    Something That Happened Only Once


Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    Recorded in Coyocán Plaza, Mexico City, this panoramic motion-media work looks at the actions of actors and non-actors recorded on a city plaza on a busy Saturday afternoon. Using dynamic layers of photographic imagery, songs, and found sounds, the work presents lives caught in moments of flux to raise questions about subjectivity, displacement, and travel. The panorama also explores formal relationships between word and image, interweaving seven overlapping narratives that are written by Deb Olin Unferth and put to music by singer-composer Jodi Gilbert and saxophonist Michael Moore. The evocative work follows a female protagonist, a male counterpart, and other characters in a manner that suggests narrative but never becomes it. Instead it’s an expression of temperament or a consciousness – a searching, a longing, a loneliness.

Technical Information:

    Layers of imagery are stitched and composited from over 1,000 photographs taken in a study of the Coyocán Plaza in Mexico City, following 12 actors who serve as provocateurs interspersed in the crowded space. The photographic
    panoramas are animated into slowly revolving loops that evolve in time. The individual elements of the revolving panorama may move at differing rates than the whole work, reappearing several times in a single loop. And they move
    independently of the time set by the panoramic motion: while one character may be concluding an action in a second loop that was begun in the first, the opposite may be true for another, challenging the authority of the panoramic frame. The work was animated and output as a loss-less QuickTime video for projection. This version has two loops that follow the form of a Möbius strip to begin again after 21 minutes.

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