printer friendly version of article
delirium : douglas cooper bio
View this article in flash requires flash 6 >
by the HorizonZero editors
Douglas Cooper was born in Toronto in 1960. He lived there for many years, and obtained a Master's degree in philosophy before studying architecture. However, he quickly left this field to concentrate on his writing.
His first novel Amnesia was published in 1992 by Random House. It was well received in Canada and in the United States. The book is divided into four sections of similar length, which tell the twisted tale of three characters meandering through a Babylonian city called Toronto.
In 1993 Cooper decided to serialize his second novel on the Internet, and thus
Delirium appeared in partial form on the Web. But Cooper ultimately
decided to publish the full version in book form. This was released by Random
House in 1998. Delirium follows the same maze-like and manifold structure
as his first novel, and is supposed to be the second book in a series of four
entitled Quartet for the End of Loathing.
Cooper is now working on his third novel, The Invisible Hand. He does
not know yet if it will be part of his series, and has even stated that this
might be his last novel. According to him, this will be another hybrid novel,
as it will include photographs.
As a writer, Cooper has collaborated with some world-renowned architects. In
1995 he worked with Peter Eisenman during the Milan Triennale to create an architectural
installation based on a location described in Delirium. Also, while
living in London as a second-year architecture student, Cooper attended a conference
by the noted architect Elizabeth Diller. He became captivated by the multidisciplinary
approach of Diller+Scofidio, and eventually began an ongoing partnership with
them. Some of the results have included a dance piece by Charleroi dance theatre
that was narrated by Cooper in 1995, as well as an installation unveiled on
May 15, 2002. He has also created a conversation in "Europantho," an ironic
twist on Esperanto that mixes many European languages.
Douglas Cooper is also the founder of Dysmedia. Initially designed
as a portfolio, this Web site gradually evolved as a laboratory for his ideas.
The site includes (after a careful search!) a "user's manual," some of Cooper's
photographs, his "cacostrophic" paintings, an unpublished short story, and an
excerpt from a play.
Cooper has also sold five screenplays, most of them to the U.K.-based company
Talisman. He is currently working on two other screenplays: Children of the
Main, a documentary on the birth of the experimental art scene in Montréal inspired
by Marcel Carné's Les Enfants du Paradis, and another feature created
in collaboration with an Australian filmmaker, which will deal with some of
the same themes as Casablanca.
Whether writing, painting, taking photographs, or uploading onto the Web, Cooper continues to evoke impossible urban landscapes with his work. His audience experiences worlds where no colour is completely pure and no line perfectly straight. His art is invariably fragmented, and his landscapes are decoys that hide horrible truths.
Douglas Cooper is currently travelling and working for a number of magazines, including New York Magazinen and Saturday Night. He has lived in Toronto, Montréal, London, and Paris, and is currently a resident of Manhattan.