“Monkey House" is a virtual reality poem in collaboration with the artist Jane Jin Kaisen and computer programmer Magnus Cardell supported by a Digital Humanities on the Hill grant from St. Olaf College (2017-18)
“Monkey House: a Digital Poem” is an original work merging together poetry by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs and multimedia footage by award-winning artist Jane Jin Kaisen in a digital environment. Its title comes from the American soldiers’ name for a now neglected and dilapidated U.S. Military STD Clinic located in Dongducheon near the Demilitarized Zone--a violent holdout of the Cold War and a lush nature preserve paradoxically protected by violence. Drawing upon publishing platforms as a means of composition and inquiry, the digital poem’s audio and visual text will assume “a bacterial view” and contaminate still shots from archival U.S. military films on G.I. sexual health and Kaisen’s video of Monkey House. Networked together, these textual-imagistic proliferations will stage and explore Cold War legacies of bodily decay, ideological purity, militarized hygiene, theater, surveillance, and greenworld hazmat as persistent spectral presences of the unending Korean War.