This multimedia piece from my dissertation entitled “Home Movie, Nowhere” is rooted in the documentary poetics of place and includes a triptych of three video poems. These videos personally document the American Midwest through the aesthetic lens of the Midwestern Gothic, attempting to reimagine or re-vision the idea of the region in American culture through presenting a hidden or unseen, disappearing, haunted, and in-between landscape. Together, these videos illustrate how the documentary poetics of place both whispers and calls for whisperers who will listen with an ear to the ground, so to speak. By this I mean not only that there are multiplicities of tunnels and root systems below the landscape, half-conscious, that this project follows, but that death, decay, and collapse are inevitable offshoots of such an investigation, and well-suited to the Midwestern Gothic subgenre.
Julia Madsen is a multimedia poet and educator. She received an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University and is a PhD candidate in English/Creative Writing at the University of Denver. Her first book, The Boneyard, The Birth Manual, A Burial: Investigations into the Heartland (Trembling Pillow Press) was listed on Entropy’s Best Poetry Books of 2018. Blue-collar born and raised in the Midwest, she is the video editor at Reality Beach and has shown video poetry and multimedia installations at &Now: A Festival of Innovative Writing, Outlet Fine Art Gallery, No Nation Art Gallery, Counterpath Gallery, Cabal Gallery, the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory, and Denver’s Unseen film festival. This winter, she was a resident at University of Colorado-Boulder’s Media Archaeology Lab.