Recycled threads in the patterns of life

Jodie Mack’s experimental handmade films use collage to create fascinating patterns from found objects. Her use of worn and recycled materials conjure reflections of life within the mode of abstract graphic storytelling.

Mack’s film, Blanket Statement, explores “discordant dysfunction down to the nitty gritty.” The piece is on view at 1111 Main St. at Dallas, as part of Aurora Picture Show’s Sidewalk Cinema video installation, project managed by Weingarten Art Group.

Jodie Mack discusses her artistic inspiration and Houston’s installation in this candid interview.

 

Q: You draw your source material from found objects. What do you find interesting about them?

Jodie Mack: Lots of things, really. As objects are concerned, I have an affinity for all things thrown out and passed down. I like to think of survival of the fittest in terms of materials — the oldest, most obsolete, unusable things are most often the most durable. New products contain the illusion of quality and opulence but actually don’t last as long.

I am also very interested in the role of pattern and how it straddles the world of fine art and graphic design. I have made many films about the various instances of certain patterns (stripes, paisley, florals) and their appearances throughout a wide range of high and low art consumption scenarios.

 

Q: Explain the title Blanket Statement: Do we sense a bit of humor?

Jodie Mack: Yes and no! Of course, in this particular piece, there’s touching upon the physical blanket and the notion of a generalized statement, plus a tip of the hat to the black/silent spaces — all or nothing. But to me, the sound of the piece (which is actually the sound of the images themselves played through a photoreceptor at 24fps) pinpoint underlying tensions of the domestic world, calling out the contradictions of a blanket that is meant to protect but often represents a space of miscommunication, tangled emotional wires, and violence.

 

Q: How do you feel about your work being shown al fresco in the middle of Downtown Houston?

Jodie Mack: I am thrilled and honored to have my work playing outside in a public space. I long to open the floodgates of experimental film and hope for a future where there’s far less of a distinction between fine art and mainstream culture than there is today. I hope that the installation impacts the days of the viewers in new and exciting ways for the community. I’m really happy to support Aurora in activating the many facets of Downtown Houston as part of their mission.

 

Q: Who gave you your start in video art? How did you enter the field?

Jodie Mack: Ha! Through the side door! In my formative years, I did tons of theater and performance. After that, I became interested in critical studies, which led me into a filmmaking class.

That led me to animation and education, which connected me to Aurora picture show at a very young age. I had one of my first screenings ever at Aurora’s Extremely Shorts Film Festival.