Time Enough explores a distant relative named Dean and his collection of home movies shot from 1946-2006. After months of sifting through 104 hours of Dean’s footage, Mackin began editing a series of short videos, trying to understand and reason about the materials at hand. Throughout the Dean series, Mackin is attempting to distill life-long phenomena into brief, precise and intense cinematic moments.
In 1962, Dean got a zoom lens. For the video titled Zoom, Mackin chronologically stitched together all footage involving a zoom movement. Shown in fast motion, this piece produces a fast-paced and highly fragmented narrative of Dean’s life from 1962-2006. This is just one example of how Mackin’s work explores how Dean persistently recorded 60 years of his everyday experiences, capturing his entire life cycle.
This project is supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
A distant relative gave me a collection of home movies, shot from 1946-2006 by a man named Dean. Dead people’s objects are characteristically cryptic—ambiguous, puzzling, inscrutable and, for me, provocative. Something to study. By persistently recording 60 years of his everyday experiences, Dean captured his own life cycle. After months of sifting through 104 hours of Dean’s footage, I began editing a series of short videos, trying to understand and reason about the materials at hand.
In 1962, Dean got a zoom lens. Like a kid with a magnifying glass, Dean immediately engaged with this new tool for intense seeing, frequently zooming in to examine all sorts of subjects. I began isolating this footage, resulting in an incredibly idiosyncratic archive. His choices are not arbitrary or intentional, but seem to reflect a certain human will, curiosity, & desire.
For the video titled Zoom (Dean; part 1, 8mm film, 1962-76), I chronologically stitched together all footage involving a zoom movement, shown in fast motion. This systematic approach produced a fast-paced montage of images—a highly fragmented narrative.
From 8mm film to DV, Dean filmed 24 sunsets. Displayed simultaneously—tiled, like a surveillance monitor—at normal speed, 24 tiles of sunset footage begin playing in a video titled Dean sunsets, all of them (1952-2006). As the footage runs out, the screen flickers to black, tile by tile.
Dean’s first & last shots are driving scenes. So, this is the only video that spans the full 60 years, from 1946-2006. After compiling every frame Dean shot from the perspective of the passenger seat, I edited the footage down to 2 minutes, trying to get something akin to a time-lapse movie. Using fast motion & rapid pacing heightens the illusion of speed & the absorption of information. For me, watching this video is a visceral experience, one of hurtling through space & time throughout America. I actually get carsick.
Throughout the Dean series, using video or composite images, I hope to distill life-long phenomena into brief, precise, intense cinematic moments.
MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2005
BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD magna cum laude, 2003
Burren College of Art, Co Clare, Ireland, 2002
2011 Time Enough, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
2009 Driving, 1946—2006, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN
2009 Wedding Heads, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
2009 Davis Projection, Harper College, Palatine, IL
2008 Some Screens, Old Gold Exhibitions and Events, Chicago, IL
2007 Davis, Giftshop Project Space, Chicago, IL
2007 April of ’92 and Other Months, Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago, IL
2006 Videotape and Mirrors, Three Seasons Gallery, Chicago, IL
Selected Group Exhibitions and Fairs
2010 Fog: A Spring Group Show, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
2009 Art Club, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
2009 Artists Run Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
2008 Can Bigfoot Get You a Beer?, Curated by Anthony Elms and Philip von Zweck, Alogon Gallery, Chicago, IL
2008 NEXT Fair, Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
2006 Spun from the Web, Gallery 2, Chicago, IL
2006 Nova Young Art Fair, VIDEO+FILM, Chicago, IL
2005 Experiment 400/5, Gallery 400, Chicago, IL
2005 Instillation Collective, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE
2005 Representations, Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago, IL
2005 SAIC MFA Thesis Exhibition, Gallery 2, Chicago, IL
2005 Nova Young Art Fair, Bucket Rider, Chicago, IL
2004 Group Show, Gallery 2, Chicago, IL
2004 Winner’s Circle, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
2004 The Stray Show, Curated by Scott Reeder, Chicago, IL
2004 Annual Juried Show, H. Lewis Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2003 MICA Commencement Exhibition, Baltimore, MD
2002 MICA Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, Baltimore, MD
2002 Poster Invitational, H. Lewis Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2002 Nowhere Nothing, H. Lewis Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2002 3×3, H. Lewis Gallery, Baltimore, MD
2007-2008 Director, Giftshop Project Space, Chicago, IL
2001-2003 Co-Director, H. Lewis Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Collaborative curatorial effort; presented solo and group artistic exhibitions, musical performances, and a lecture program in a storefront gallery
Grabner, Michelle. “Can Bigfoot Get You a Beer?” Artforum.com. 21 Oct 2008.
Eler, Alicia. “Closing Time.” Time Out Chicago 26 Jun. 2008: 59.
Image from “Some Screens.” Chicago Reader 17 April 2008: 93.
Stabler, Bert. “Laura Mackin.” Time Out Chicago 27 Dec. 2007: 72.
Foumberg, Jason. “Eye Exam: West Side Dispatch.” Newcity Chicago 18 Dec. 2007.
Sondak, Justin. “Deck the Halls with Local Art.” Centerstage Chicago. 7 Dec. 2007.
McKinnon, John. “Carl Baratta and Laura Mackin.” Time Out Chicago 22 June 2006: 89.
Camper, Fred. “A Real Looker.” Chicago Reader 9 June 2006, sec. 2: 22.
Hoffman, Ezara. “Carl Baratta and Laura Mackin.” Flavorpill Chicago. 30 May 2006.
Weinstein, Michael. “Laura Mackin.” Newcity Chicago 23 May 2006.
Awards & Lectures
Visiting Artist, MCA Teacher’s Institute, Chicago, IL, 2010
Visiting Artist, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN, 2009
Visiting Artist, Harper College, IL, 2009
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Community Arts Grant, Chicago, IL, 2009
Panelist, Spun from the Web, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2006