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Dana Coester, The Reverberatory Narrative: Toward Story as a Multisensory Network


Dana Coester, Assistant Professor, Reed College of Media (formerly PI Reed School of Journalism), West Virginia University.  Coester's work focuses on community media and technology disruption. Her research examines the future of storytelling with special interests in wearable technology and experiments in new narrative forms at the intersection of digital storytelling and neuroscience. Her award-winning experiments in interactive media span art installation, poetry and documentary film. Coester earned her master's degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993.


The Reverberatory Narrative: Toward Story as a Multisensory Network is an evolving, transmedia series that employs print, film, installation and digital practices in the assembling and disassembling of lyric essays, poetry, graphic design, photography and physical artifacts in an experimental documentary of memory, time and story.

The initial form of this documentary work was an installation at the photography gallery Agnes in Birmingham, Alabama in 1993, titled "Undressing Audrey," in which the viewer physically "undressed" the book, slipping text from a woman's garments, one button and layer at a time. Through subsequent, increasingly digital interpretations, Pretty relied on a layered structure that attempted to approximate the original installation experience through a series of overlapping narrative threads that could be sorted and resorted by different contexts and media types, such as time, place, character, artifact, image, audio, and video, among others. Its current experiment extends the work to augmented reality in an effort to return Pretty to its origin as installation — as a multi-sensory experiment in physical space with a digital layer — the final leg of a journey began in 1989.

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