Chapter 5: The Reverberatory Narrative: Toward Story as a Multisensory Network

This chapter uses multimedia artist Dana Coester’s work Pretty (1998) to demonstrate how narratives are constructed from bits of perceptual data into an experience network to create meaningful, contextualized experiences. The story used interactive art installations, print media, film and digital content to pull in disparate stories, words, images and content along strings of context. The leaps in associative content allow for new narratives to emerge, as Antonio Damasio describes unified perceptions that can emerge from fragmented data in the process of making a memory.

Dana Coester is an assistant professor in the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University and serves as the creative director for the media innovation center. She helped direct several award-winning interactive campaigns as the assistant vice president for branding and creative direction for WVU’s University Relations division, and she designed the award-winning multimedia website “Starting Over: Loss and Renewal in Katrina’s Aftermath.” She has more that fifteen years of experience in magazine publishing and communication design, working as an art director and contributor with Time, Inc. Her work examines the future of storytelling with special interests in creative direction, multimedia, experimental media co-creation, and new narrative forms at the intersection of digital storytelling and neuroscience. Coester earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993.

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