J. Makary’s first film debuted at the American Dance Festival in 2006. Since then, she has developed projects influenced by video art, classic and experimental cinema, and contemporary dance. At the heart of her filmmaking is an approach she calls “feral editing,” a shooting and editing style that weaves choreographic impulses into narrative and documentary film practices with a bit of wildness and play.
Makary’s films and videos have been screened and exhibited at the Athens International Film & Video Festival in Athens, Ohio; the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Slought Foundation, Vox Populi, and International House, all in Philadelphia; Mana Contemporary in Jersey City and Chicago; Human Resources, Spring/Break Art Show, and TSALA/Monte Vista Projects in Los Angeles; Artist-Run at Satellite Miami; SPACES in Cleveland; the University of Memphis; Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey; and Zodiak Center for New Dance in Helsinki, Finland, among other venues. Her live performances have been presented at the Icebox Project Space, the Rotunda, and AUX Performance Space at Vox Populi in Philadelphia. Originally trained as a writer and editor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she earned an MFA in film at Temple University in 2013.
Makary was named a 2013 Pew Fellow in the Arts and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in summer 2014. She lives in Los Angeles, where she runs Mother Ditch, a platform for experimental media artists, and is a member of artist-run space TSALA.