Ken Jacobs

Cyclops Observes the Celestial Bodies
USA 2014

09.02. 20:30 Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg
11.02. 12:30 Arsenal 1

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In Ken Jacob’s latest film, a stream of water shooting from a fountain, arrested in mid-air, serves as the material for a hypnotic, frenzied exploration of 3-dimensional cinematic vision.
“Cyclopean 3D is the most 3D a single eye can come up with. This means the celestial horde on display here can only seem to be galloping through space. Actual seeing into depth must be denied, it’s the law.” (Ken Jacobs, 2015)
“Hollywood might do well to learn from Ken Jacobs, who can boast more than 40 years of provocative, demanding, and transformative explorations of various permutations of 3D, putting the primitive, in-your-face assaults of Hollywood to shame. The 78-year-old New York-based artist has dedicated his life to exploring both the mechanics of human perception and the technologies of movies, returning to cinema’s origins in the 19th century to create transcendent experiences of film viewing, experiences that lift you out of your seat and transport you into the space and movement of the image itself.… Rather than dutifully depicting a more realistic space or, worse, using 3D for gimmicky visual tricks, Jacobs deploys 3D technology as part of a larger, lifelong exploration of vision, consciousness, and the materiality of cinema, even in its incredibly ephemeral manifestations.”(Holly Willis, LA Weekly, 2011)

Ken Jacobs, born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, is an artist and filmmaker. He studied painting with Hans Hofmann from 1956 to 1957 and started making films in 1955. He created and directed The Millennium Film Workshop, NYC from 1966–68, started the Department of Cinema at SUNY at Binghamton in 1969. He is Distinguished Professor of Cinema Emeritus. His films and videos have been shown worldwide.

Contact: nervousken@aol.com
Format: DCP, QuickTime ProRes,
Running time: 27 min
Language: Without dialogue

Orchard Street
USA 1955

09.02. 20:30 Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg
11.02. 12:30 Arsenal 1

1955, Alan Becker sometimes assisting. My first film, revisiting the Jewishness (permeating the street at that time) of my upbringing. Originally lasting close to a half-hour, I was afterwards told there was no chance of screening a documentary longer than 12 minutes and, broke and hungry the way young artists are expected to be, I cut it down. There was no fat so the cuts were into bone and muscle. And then, the deed done, I despised myself and did nothing with it. An engagement broke (she went West and connected to Christopher MacLaine) and in my economic free-fall I began filming Star Spangled To Death starring the unknown Jack Smith and Jerry Sims, 1956-1959, though the somewhat-more-affordable shorts Little Stabs At Happiness and Blonde Cobra came out earlier. 2014: after very occasional screenings of the disaster, and with daughter Nisi at the computer, a close return to the original was effected, in luxurious silence. I’d been on the street a lot with my Bell and Howell 16mm 70DL and no one ever objected. Some asked what channel would they see themselves on and I would explain ‘independent filmmaker,’ aka bum with a camera. Knocks me out to see how Kodachrome preserves semblances of time. Sorry to have disappointed you, people of Orchard Street of over half a century ago, you were wonderful. The couple in the clinch: she worked on the street and embodied it, the kisser is me. (Ken Jacobs)

Ken Jacobs, born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, is an artist and filmmaker. He studied painting with Hans Hofmann from 1956 to 1957 and started making films in 1955. He created and directed The Millennium Film Workshop, NYC from 1966–68, started the Department of Cinema at SUNY at Binghamton in 1969. He is Distinguished Professor of Cinema Emeritus. His films and videos have been shown worldwide.

Contact: nervousken@aol.com
Format
: QuickTime ProRes, Colour, silent
Running time: 15 min
Language: Without dialogue