Nick Jordan



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Cartwright & Jordan




Jacob Cartwright & Nick Jordan
New Madrid, 2009
HD video, 06.38 mins.

New Madrid, the earthquake of 1811, draws upon the description of a cataclysmic earthquake by John James Audubon, published in his Ornithological Biography (1831-39). The video was filmed on the Kentucky/Tennessee border, at Reelfoot – an area of swampland formed by the earthquakes of 1811-12. Centred on the town of New Madrid, the earthquake remains the largest ever recorded on the US continent. The impact forced the Mississippi to flow backwards for several hours, and caused bells to ring as far away as Boston. With large areas destroyed and flooded, and thousands of people displaced, the earthquake led to the first request for disaster relief from the US Federal government. The resulting cypress sloughs and lakes are now host to a range of rare and endangered species, providing a vital refuge for wildlife migrating through or inhabiting the Mississippi floodplain.

New Madrid forms part of a trilogy of short films (The Audubon Trilogy) which focus upon a range of species, events & locations described by Audubon. Combining social, cultural & ecological history, the films reference themes of human exploration and romanticism; the past & present; our relationship to a disappearing wilderness; species extinction and economic rise and fall.