SLUG’s May-Feature Artist: Mark C. Jackman
After knowing Mark for a little over two years now, I finally asked him what his motivation for making music and performance art is (this is a question that had never really entered my mind about Mark).
“My main motivation for all my art is to create something that’s not there,” Mark says, minutes after he had already dodged the question. “That sounds kind of pretentious to me when I say it, I don’t mean it that way,” he continues, “I mean there are art forms that I want desperately and they’re not there. And so I create them so that they will be there…”
Currently, one of the projects he’s working on is a performance that he and three of the four members of Company of 4 will exhibit at the Utah Arts Festival. Though still in the planning stages, the piece will be very industrial. Interested parties will be able to see it in the Union Pacific Building.
Mark has performed with Company of 4 at the Utah Arts Festival for the last four years. Prior to his brief move to San Francisco, he cites CO4 as a reason for returning to Salt Lake. “Of all the dance and all the theatre I’ve seen, the CO4 people are the best thing I’ve seen anywhere,” he says.
His move to California was also the demise of Flowers for Charlotte. I first met Mark when he was a vocalist for Flowers and was amazed by the caliber of music they played. His vocals were far beyond anything I ever expected to find in a local band.
As far as music is concerned, he is now looking for someone to do some strictly acoustic covers—sounds from the swing, big band and early blues eras. Any interested people should contact him. There is also a possible Flowers For Charlotte reunion. Mark had this to say about that: “…Somebody told me they heard on the radio the other day that we are getting back together and that was news to all of us. But we are discussing it.”
His most current project in the making is Razorings. It is an exhibition of music, theatre, dance and video installments by Mark, and features many guest artists. The installments will be presented at the Utah Media Center Thursday, May 3 at 8 p.m. Doing installment art (music, dance, theatre or film to be placed or ‘installed’ somewhere that normally wouldn’t display such things) is one of Mark’s current ambitions.
Another of his present ambitions lies in his being a film major at the University of Utah. “It’s never really been a goal of mine, but now I want to graduate. I’m not putting a time limit on it because filmmaking is outrageously expensive,” Mark says. His interest in film stems from its ability to incorporate all of the mediums he has worked in up to this point.
Anyone who has seen his performances, or has viewed any of his various visual creations, knows that he is creating and working on ideas that are original and interesting. In these attempts to create the things he isn’t finding, I wondered if he experienced any disappointment at the fact that he is making them himself. Mark answered the question without any prompting. He says, “…it’s not as fun for me if they’re mine as it would be if I went out and found someone else’s; but, because they’re not there, and there is a gap there, I try to fill it.”
I’m curious to see the Company of 4 performance at the Utah Arts Festival and to see Razorings, if only for the performance by his nephew, Jared Jackman. Also, I wonder what would happen with a Flowers for Charlotte reunion. But, more than all of those, I’m wondering in what form and where Mark’s performance will appear next. In fact, I’m repeating Mark’s favorite prayer: “Little fishies was our dished, Amen” in an effort to keep my soul in touch.