Optic Antics

Optic Antics : The Cinema of Ken Jacobs

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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 180.34 x 251.46 x 20.32mm | 793.78g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • New
  • 0195384970
  • 9780195384970

Review quote

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 * 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 * Above all else, Optic Antics has the rare distinction? * characteristic of Jacob's filmmaking itself? *
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About Michele Pierson

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.
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Table of contents

1. Introduction: Ken Jacobs-A Half-Century of Cinema ; 2. "A Panorama Compounded of Great Human Suffering and Ecstatic Filmic Representation": Texts On Ken Jacobs ; 3. Texts On Ken Jacobs ; 4. A Mischievous Little-Boy Revolution: The Whirled ; 5. Ken Jacobs, Moralist ; 6. The Sky Socialist: Film as an Instrument of Thought, Cinema as an Augury of Redemption ; 7. Bigger Than Life: Between Ken Jacobs and Nicholas Ray ; 8. Acts of Delay: The Play between Stillness and Motion in Tom, Tom the Piper's Son ; 9. The Piper's Son: Content and Performance in the Films of Ken Jacobs ; 10. Ken Jacobs' Two Wrenching Departures ; 11. Photo Essay ; 12. Flo Talks ; 13. Recycling, Visual Study, Expanded Theory - Ken Jacobs, Theorist, or: The Long Song of the Sons ; 14. "Avant-Garde" Filmmaker: Ken Jacobs ; 15. Ken Jacobs and the Robert Flaherty Seminar ; 16. Nervous Ken: XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX and after ; 17. Jacobs' Bergsonism ; 18. Ken Jacobs and Ecstatic Abstraction ; 19. Busby Berkeley, Ken Jacobs: A Precarious, Extravagant, Populist, and Constructivist Cinema ; 20. Untitled (for Ken) ; 21. Theories of Moving Pictures: Ken Jacobs after Hans Hofmann ; 22. I Owe Ken Jacobs ; 23. Professor Ken ; 24. Annotated Filmography and Performance History ; 25. Bibliography
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