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Optic Antics: The Cinema of Ken Jacobs Optic Antics: The Cinema of Ken Jacobs

Ken Jacobs, Michele Pierson (ed)

Ken Jacobs, Michele Pierson (ed)

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Ken Jacobs has been making cinema for more than fifty years. Along with over thirty film and video works, he has created an array of shadow plays, sound pieces, installations, and magic lantern and film performances that have transformed how we look at and think about moving images. He is part of the permanent collections at MoMA and the Whitney, and his work has been celebrated in Europe and the U.S. While his importance is well-recognized, this is the first volume dedicated entirely to him. It includes essays by prominent film scholars along with photographs and personal pieces from artists and critics, all of which testify to the extraordinary variety and influence of his accomplishments. Anyone interested in cinema or experimental arts will be well-rewarded by a greater acquaintance with the genius, the innovation, and the optical antics of Ken Jacobs.

'Above all else, Optic Antics has the rare distinction - characteristic of Jacob's filmmaking itself - of being at once philosophically intricate and ludicrously fun. Film Comment The contributors to Optic Antics are to be congratulated for chronicling the work of the artist Ken Jacobs and providing insightful interpretations of his extraordinary and multifaceted contributions to the art of the moving image. In his many films, performance works, and digital pieces, Jacobs has made a major contribution to contemporary art, and this book will be a real asset to scholars, artists, and curators. John G. Hanhardt, Senior Curator, Nam June Paik Media Arts Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum Optic Antics gives Jacobs devotees like myself and new audiences alike the chance to understand Ken in full context. Forget essential, Ken Jacobs is seminal cinema.' - Andrew Lampert, Artist, Programmer, and Archivist, Anthology Film Archives

 

Table of Contents: 

1. Introduction: Ken Jacobs-A Half-Century of Cinema, Michele Pierson
2. "A Panorama Compounded of Great Human Suffering and Ecstatic Filmic Representation": Texts On Ken Jacobs, Paul Arthur
3. Texts On Ken Jacobs, Jonas Mekas
4. A Mischievous Little-Boy Revolution: The WhirledBranden Joseph
5. Ken Jacobs, Moralist, Richard Foreman
6. The Sky Socialist: Film as an Instrument of Thought, Cinema as an Augury of Redemption, David E. James
7. Bigger Than Life: Between Ken Jacobs and Nicholas Ray, Larry Gottheim
8. Acts of Delay: The Play between Stillness and Motion in Tom, Tom the Piper's Son,Eivind Røssaak
9. The Piper's Son: Content and Performance in the Films of Ken Jacobs, Abigail Child
10. Ken Jacobs' Two Wrenching DeparturesTony Pipolo
11. Photo Essay, Flo Jacobs
12. Flo Talks, Amy Taubin
13. Recycling, Visual Study, Expanded Theory - Ken Jacobs, Theorist, or: The Long Song of the SonsNicole Brenez
14. "Avant-Garde" Filmmaker: Ken Jacobs, Art Spiegelman
15. Ken Jacobs and the Robert Flaherty Seminar, Scott MacDonald
16. Nervous Ken: XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX and after, Phil Solomon
17. Jacobs' Bergsonism, Michele Pierson
18. Ken Jacobs and Ecstatic Abstraction, Lewis Klahr
19. Busby Berkeley, Ken Jacobs: A Precarious, Extravagant, Populist, and Constructivist Cinema, Adrian Martin
20. Untitled (for Ken), Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller
21. Theories of Moving Pictures: Ken Jacobs after Hans Hofmann, Federico Windhausen
22. I Owe Ken Jacobs, Fred Worden
23. Professor Ken, Michael Zryd
24. Annotated Filmography and Performance History, William Rose
25. Bibliography

 

Author Biography: Michele Pierson is on the faculty of the Film Studies Department at King's College London. She is the author of Special Effects: Still in Search of Wonder. David E. James is on the faculty of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Allegories of Cinema: American Film in the Sixties and The Most Typical Avant-Garde: History and Geography of Minor Cinemas in Los Angeles. Paul Arthur was Professor of English and Film Studies at Montclair State University. He is the author of Line Of Sight: American Avant-Garde Film Since 1965.

Ken Jacobs has been making cinema for more than fifty years. Along with over thirty film and video works, he has created an array of shadow plays, sound pieces, installations, and magic lantern and film performances that have transformed how we look at and think about moving images. He is part of the permanent collections at MoMA and the Whitney, and his work has been celebrated in Europe and the U.S. While his importance is well-recognized, this is the first volume dedicated entirely to him. It includes essays by prominent film scholars along with photographs and personal pieces from artists and critics, all of which testify to the extraordinary variety and influence of his accomplishments. Anyone interested in cinema or experimental arts will be well-rewarded by a greater acquaintance with the genius, the innovation, and the optical antics of Ken Jacobs.

'Above all else, Optic Antics has the rare distinction - characteristic of Jacob's filmmaking itself - of being at once philosophically intricate and ludicrously fun. Film Comment The contributors to Optic Antics are to be congratulated for chronicling the work of the artist Ken Jacobs and providing insightful interpretations of his extraordinary and multifaceted contributions to the art of the moving image. In his many films, performance works, and digital pieces, Jacobs has made a major contribution to contemporary art, and this book will be a real asset to scholars, artists, and curators. John G. Hanhardt, Senior Curator, Nam June Paik Media Arts Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum Optic Antics gives Jacobs devotees like myself and new audiences alike the chance to understand Ken in full context. Forget essential, Ken Jacobs is seminal cinema.' - Andrew Lampert, Artist, Programmer, and Archivist, Anthology Film Archives

 

Table of Contents: 

1. Introduction: Ken Jacobs-A Half-Century of Cinema, Michele Pierson
2. "A Panorama Compounded of Great Human Suffering and Ecstatic Filmic Representation": Texts On Ken Jacobs, Paul Arthur
3. Texts On Ken Jacobs, Jonas Mekas
4. A Mischievous Little-Boy Revolution: The WhirledBranden Joseph
5. Ken Jacobs, Moralist, Richard Foreman
6. The Sky Socialist: Film as an Instrument of Thought, Cinema as an Augury of Redemption, David E. James
7. Bigger Than Life: Between Ken Jacobs and Nicholas Ray, Larry Gottheim
8. Acts of Delay: The Play between Stillness and Motion in Tom, Tom the Piper's Son,Eivind Røssaak
9. The Piper's Son: Content and Performance in the Films of Ken Jacobs, Abigail Child
10. Ken Jacobs' Two Wrenching DeparturesTony Pipolo
11. Photo Essay, Flo Jacobs
12. Flo Talks, Amy Taubin
13. Recycling, Visual Study, Expanded Theory - Ken Jacobs, Theorist, or: The Long Song of the SonsNicole Brenez
14. "Avant-Garde" Filmmaker: Ken Jacobs, Art Spiegelman
15. Ken Jacobs and the Robert Flaherty Seminar, Scott MacDonald
16. Nervous Ken: XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX and after, Phil Solomon
17. Jacobs' Bergsonism, Michele Pierson
18. Ken Jacobs and Ecstatic Abstraction, Lewis Klahr
19. Busby Berkeley, Ken Jacobs: A Precarious, Extravagant, Populist, and Constructivist Cinema, Adrian Martin
20. Untitled (for Ken), Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller
21. Theories of Moving Pictures: Ken Jacobs after Hans Hofmann, Federico Windhausen
22. I Owe Ken Jacobs, Fred Worden
23. Professor Ken, Michael Zryd
24. Annotated Filmography and Performance History, William Rose
25. Bibliography

 

Author Biography: Michele Pierson is on the faculty of the Film Studies Department at King's College London. She is the author of Special Effects: Still in Search of Wonder. David E. James is on the faculty of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Allegories of Cinema: American Film in the Sixties and The Most Typical Avant-Garde: History and Geography of Minor Cinemas in Los Angeles. Paul Arthur was Professor of English and Film Studies at Montclair State University. He is the author of Line Of Sight: American Avant-Garde Film Since 1965.

Additional Info

Additional Info

SKU 9780195384987
Editor(s) Pierson, Michele
Format Paperback
Original publication date 7 Jul 2011
Number of pages 312 pages including 48 illustrations

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