Close Up

8 December 2018: Edge of Frame: The Films of Jodie Mack


Edge of Frame and Close-Up are proud to present a two-part programme of films by highly acclaimed experimental animator Jodie Mack. Part one gathers a selection of shorts, illuminating formal and cursory elements shared between fine-art abstraction and mass-produced graphic design; whilst part two presents the UK premiere of her highly anticipated debut feature The Grand Bizarre. We’re thrilled that Jodie will be present throughout and will be in conversation following both screenings.

Combining the formal techniques and structures of abstract/absolute animation with those of cinematic genres, Jodie Mack’s handmade films use collage to explore the relationship between graphic cinema and storytelling, the tension between form and meaning. Musical documentary or stroboscopic archive: her films study domestic and recycled materials to illuminate the elements shared between fine-art abstraction and mass-produced graphic design. The works unleash the kinetic energy of overlooked and wasted objects and question the role of decoration in daily life.

Programme 1: Posthaste Perennial Patterns

Questioning the role of decoration in daily life, these 16mm works unleash the kinetic energy of overlooked and wasted objects. Expanding upon notions of anti-animation set forth by experimental practitioners like Paul Sharits and Robert Breer, the studies in this programme apply formal principles of abstract cinema while pursuing an interest in found materials, evolving modes of production, and forms of labour.

Posthaste Perennial Pattern
Jodie Mack
2010 | 3’38 min | Colour | 16mm

Rapid-fire florals and morning birdsongs bridge interior and exterior, design and nature.

Rad Plaid
Jodie Mack
2010 | 6 min | Colour | 16mm

A series of chromatic intersections. Audience members form teams who respond to vertical lines by shouting "plaid" and to horizontal lines by shouting “rad".

Point de Gaze
Jodie Mack
2012 | 4’30 min | Colour | 16mm

Named after a type of Belgian lace, this spectral study investigates intricate illusion and optical arrest.

Persian Pickles
Jodie Mack
2012 | 3 min | Colour | 16mm

Fractile phonics accompany a delicate study of paisley patterns.

Blanket Statement #1: Home is Where the Heart is
Jodie Mack
2012 | 3 min | Colour | 16mm

Discordant dysfunction down to the nitty griddy. 

Blanket Statement #2: It’s All or Nothing
Jodie Mack
2013 | 5 min | Colour | 16mm

A quilted call and response, a battle of extreme extremes.

Undertone Overture
Jodie Mack
2013 | 10’30 min | Colour | 16mm

Undertone Overture evokes an abyssal, aquatic abstraction cruising out to the cosmos and back to coast. Swirls and swooshes of colour and texture boil to pelagic pulses of deep-sea hydrographic exploration, considering the cultural and historical-referential properties of tie-dyed fabric.

Razzle Dazzle
Jodie Mack
2014 | 5 min | Colour | 16mm

Tacky threads luminesce at a firefly’s pace, twinkling through remnants of chintzy opulence and gaudy glamour "prestissimo brilliante”.

Programme 2: The Grand Bizarre

“Shot in a dozen countries, the film finds Mack’s trademark, color-coordinated textiles dancing across a variety of exotic locales (India, Mexico, Holland, Morocco, and Turkey represent just a partial itinerary) through a meticulous process of frame-by-frame photography and practical production magic. Playful and propulsive, Mack’s animations conjure an array of visual patterns, which in turn generate a multitude of motifs that together speak in potent shorthand to the economic and industrial development of fabric manufacturing the world over. In Mack’s dazzling montage, everyday sources – maps, globes, plane tickets, even back tattoos – reveal both cross-cultural codes and universal truths, bringing this eclectic cinematic travelogue into seamless dialogue with each viewer’s unique worldview. Driven by a homemade soundtrack that locates a heretofore unrealized intersection between hip-hop, chiptune, and synth-pop, The Grand Bizarre tackles lofty themes at an intimate scale, imbuing familiar forms with a subtle but incisive sociopolitical force.” – Jordan Cronk

The Grand Bizarre
Jodie Mack
2018 | 60’30 min | Colour | Digital
Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker

A postcard from an imploded society. Bringing mundane objects to life to interpret place through materials, The Grand Bizarre transcribes an experience of pattern, labor, and alien[-]nation[s]. A pattern parade in pop music pairs figure and landscape to trip through the topologies of codification. Following components, systems, and samples in a collage of textiles, tourism, language, and music, the film investigates recurring motifs and how their metamorphoses function within a global economy.

Posthaste Perennial Patterns and The Grand Bizarre are two of three programmes curated by Edge of Frame for London International Animation Festival 2018, taking place at venues across London from 30 November to 9 December.

Edge of Frame aims to stimulate artistic discourse around experimental animation, focusing on work at the intersection of animation, experimental film and artists’ moving image. Beginning as a blog in 2013 and extending into screening events in 2016, it seeks to celebrate this incredibly rich and vibrant, yet often marginalised and hard to define art form. Edge of Frame is run by Edwin Rostron, a London-based artist, curator and tutor at the Royal College of Art.

Jodie Mack's 16mm films have screened at a variety of venues including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Images Festival, Projections at the New York Film Festival, and the Viennale. She has presented solo programs internationally at institutions including the 25FPS Festival, Anthology Film Archives, BFI London Film Festival, Harvard Film Archive, REDCAT, and the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Her work has been featured in publications like Artforum, CinemaScope, Senses of Cinema, and the New York Times. She currently works as an Associate Professor of Animation at Dartmouth College, where she co-organizes an experimental media series, EYEWASH. She is a 2017/18 Film Study Center Fellow and Roberta and David Logie Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

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