Ken Jacobs

Ken Jacobs – The Georgetown Loop (1996)

THE GEORGETOWN LOOP
(Ken Jacobs, 1996, 11m, widescreen 35mm film, black and white, silent)

Originally photographed in 1903, US Library of Congress collection. New arrangement in 1996 by Ken Jacobs, assisted by Florence Jacobs. 35mm optical rephotography by Sam Bush, Western Cine, Denver.

I’ve been raiding the Paper Print Collection of the Library Of Congress in Washington, DC, since the late 1960s with TOM, TOM, THE PIPER’S SON. It’s a preserve of early cinema. Until 1912, in order to copyright film, one deposited with the library a positive from the negative printed on paper, unprojectable, but – unlike nitrate prints – capable of weathering the years without Crumbling into chemical volatility. And there the stacks rested, safely out of mind, hundreds and hundreds of silent rolls most less than 30 meters, many Edisons, American Mutoscope And Biograph, Gaumont, Lubin, Vitagraph ; cine-snatches of life as it was lived, vaudevillians, proto-dramas, and too many state parades. Read More »

Ken Jacobs – A Tom, Tom Chaser (2002)

Quote:
A Tom Tom Chaser is Jacobs’ 2002 poetic riff on the transformation of his classic film Tom Tom the Piper’s Son from chemical to electronic form during the telecine process. Read More »

Ken Jacobs – Capitalism: Child Labor (2006)

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“Jolting in every sense of the word, this short masterwork flickers between stereographic cards depicting Victorian-era child laborers, creating a portrait of standardized horrors, endlessly reproduced.” —MoMA Read More »

Ken Jacobs – Window (1964)

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The moving camera shapes the screen image with great purposefulness, using the frame of a window as fulcrum upon which to wheel about the exterior scene. The zoom lens rips, pulling depth planes apart and slapping them together, contracting and expanding in concurrence with camera movements to impart a terrific apparent-motion to the complex of the object-forms pictured on the horizontal-vertical screen, its axis steadied by the audience’s sense of gravity. The camera’s movements in being transferred to objects tend also to be greatly magnified (instead of the camera the adjacent building turns). About four years of studying the window-complex preceded the afternoon of actual shooting (a true instance of cinematic action-painting). The film exists as it came out of the camera barring one mechanically necessary mid-reel splice. –K. J. Read More »

Ken Jacobs – Movie That Invites Pausing (2020)

“Influenced by avantgarde artist-refugees from Europe, non-representational art dominated the art market after WW2 and pictorial comment on social conditions, popular before the war and still vital in some of Picasso’s work, went out of fashion. For the owners threatened by the appeal of socialism, it had become time to change the subject to pure aesthetics: ‘Rockefeller’s Paintings’ one MoMA show advertised. In a society that allows both non-religious and multi-religious thinking and where opposing beliefs can neutralize each other, an openness to new thinking is possible and a great development in the art did take place. Read More »

Ken Jacobs – Seeking the Monkey King (2011)

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The film could have well been called KICKING AND SCREAMING but that only describes me in the process of making it, questioning its taste. Once the message kicked in it overrode all objection. The piece demanded J.G. Thirlwell’s music, normally way too overtly expressive for me as most of my stuff comes out of painting and is also to be absorbed in silence. Who will even notice visual innovation now, or what’s happening with time? Determining a place between two and three dimensions, pushing time to take on substance, is what I do. SEEKING THE MONKEY KING is a reversion to my mid-twenties and that sense of horror that drove the making of STAR SPANGLED TO DEATH. –Ken Jacobs Read More »

Ken Jacobs – Above The Rain (2019)

Mountain ranges lighter than air. Read More »