Nick Jordan

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The Audubon Trilogy
Delineations of American Scenery & Manners
by Jacob Cartwright & Nick Jordan
DVD and chapbook publication
published by Dedecus, 2010

Delineations of American Scenery & Manners is a chapbook and DVD featuring Cairo, New Madrid, and West Point, a trilogy of short films which draw upon the writings of the 19th century artist and ornithologist John James Audubon, renowned for his epic publication The Birds of America (1838).

Filmed by Cartwright and Jordan along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, the works connect and contrast Audubon’s vivid tales of Frontier America with their present day locations: an expansive, cinematic landscape of frozen rivers, backwoods, highways, bluffs, farmland, hunting reserves, factories, freight trains and small towns.

With unanticipated events influencing the film-making process, the artists deploy a part-documentary approach, filming a wide and varied topography, both manmade and natural, from bald eagle flocks and tupelo swamps to dilapidated towns and road kill.

In combining footage of the contemporary American landscape with Audubon’s dramatic observations from the early 19th century, the films reference themes of human exploration and romanticism, our relationship to a disappearing wilderness, species extinction, social change and economic rise and fall.

The films are accompanied by an 32 page illustrated chapbook publication. Designed by the artists, the booklet include notes, stills, maps, drawings, writings by Audubon and an essay by Devin Zuber.

Published by Dedecus & available from Cornerhouse

 

 

Cairo
The breaking up of the ice

 

New Madrid
The earthquake of 1811

 

West Point
Hunting the Passenger Pigeon