Ken Jacobs

Ken
Jacobs

“Eisenstein said the power of film was to be found between shots. Peter Kubelka seeks it between film frames. I want to get between the eyes, contest the separate halves of the brain. A whole new play of appearances is possible here.”

One of the founders of the American avant-garde cinema, Ken Jacobs has been working ceaselessly and boundlessly in film, video and moving image performance for over fifty years.

Films

  • Read More
    Let There Be Whistleblowers
    Experimental

    Let There Be Whistleblowers
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, sound, 18 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Appropriation / Detournement
  • Read More
    Two Wrenching Departures

    Two Wrenching Departures
    Ken Jacobs

    black and white, sound, 90 min
  • Read More
    Whirled, The (aka Four Shorts of Jack Smith)
    Experimental

    Whirled, The (aka Four Shorts of Jack Smith)
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD 16mm, color and b/w, sound, 19 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, DVD NTSC
    • Arts / Artists
  • Read More
    Blonde Cobra
    Experimental

    Blonde Cobra
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color and b/w, sound, 33 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, Digital file, DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Little Stabs At Happiness
    Experimental

    Little Stabs At Happiness
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color, sound, 15 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    Baud'larian Capers
    Experimental

    Baud'larian Capers
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm DVD, color, sound, 15 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Window
    Experimental

    Window
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color, silent, 12 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    The Sky Socialist
    Experimental

    The Sky Socialist
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color, sound, 90 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Airshaft
    Experimental

    Airshaft
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color, silent, 4 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    Soft Rain
    Experimental

    Soft Rain
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color, silent, 12 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Landscape / Architecture
    • Films About Film
  • Read More
    Nissan Ariana Window
    Experimental

    Nissan Ariana Window
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color, silent, 14 min
    Rental formats: DVD NTSC, 16mm
  • Read More
    Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son
    Experimental

    Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color and b/w, silent, 115 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    Globe
    Experimental

    Globe
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color, sound on separate reel(s), 22 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    Urban Peasants
    Experimental

    Urban Peasants
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color and b/w, sound on separate reel(s), 60 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    The Doctor's Dream
    Experimental

    The Doctor's Dream
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm or DVD, black and white, sound, 23 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    The Winter Footage
    Experimental

    The Winter Footage
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color, silent, 42 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    Perfect Film
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Perfect Film
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, black and white, sound, 22 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, DVD NTSC
    • Political / Social Activism
  • Read More
    Jerry Takes a Back Seat, Then Passes Out of the Picture
    Experimental

    Jerry Takes a Back Seat, Then Passes Out of the Picture
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, color, silent, 11 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    Chronometer
    Experimental

    Chronometer
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, color, sound, 22 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
  • Read More
    Opening The Nineteenth Century:  1896
    Experimental

    Opening The Nineteenth Century: 1896
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, black and white, sound, 9 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    Keaton's Cop
    Experimental

    Keaton's Cop
    Ken Jacobs

    16mm, black and white, silent, 18 min
    Rental format: 16mm
  • Read More
    Make Light On Film (with Pulfrich filters)
    Experimental

    Make Light On Film (with Pulfrich filters)
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, sound, 15 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Disorient Express
    Experimental

    Disorient Express
    Ken Jacobs

    35mm, black and white, silent, 30 min
    Rental format: 35mm
    • Films About Film
  • Read More
    New York Street Trolley
    Experimental

    New York Street Trolley
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, black and white, sound, 10 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    A Tom Tom Chaser
    Experimental

    A Tom Tom Chaser
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, black and white, silent, 10 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Appropriation / Detournement
  • Read More
    Mountaineer Spinning
    Experimental

    Mountaineer Spinning
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, sound, 26 min
  • Read More
    Star Spangled To Death
    Experimental

    Star Spangled To Death
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, color and b/w, sound, 440 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Krypton Is Doomed
    Experimental

    Krypton Is Doomed
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, sound, 34 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Insistent Clamor
    Experimental

    Insistent Clamor
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, sound, 22 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Nervous Magic Lantern: Spiral Nebula
    Experimental

    Nervous Magic Lantern: Spiral Nebula
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, sound, 45 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Ontic Antics Starring Laurel and Hardy: Bye, Molly
    Experimental

    Ontic Antics Starring Laurel and Hardy: Bye, Molly
    Ken Jacobs

    DVD, sound, 90 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    The Surging Sea of Humanity
    Experimental

    The Surging Sea of Humanity
    Ken Jacobs

    color, silent, 11 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Appropriation / Detournement
  • Read More
    Ken Jacobs's Blu-Ray Compilation #1
    Experimental

    Ken Jacobs's Blu-Ray Compilation #1
    Ken Jacobs

    color and b/w, sound, 42 min
    Rental formats: 16mm, DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Ken Jacobs DVD Box Set: RAZZLE DAZZLE: THE LOST WORLD, RETURN TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME, and ANAGLYPH TOM (TOM WITH PUFFY CHEEKS)
    Experimental

    Ken Jacobs DVD Box Set: RAZZLE DAZZLE: THE LOST WORLD, RETURN TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME, and ANAGLYPH TOM (TOM WITH PUFFY CHEEKS)
    Ken Jacobs

    anaglyph 3-d color and b/w, sound, 303 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Pushcarts Of Eternity Street
    Experimental

    Pushcarts Of Eternity Street
    Ken Jacobs

    Video, black and white, sound, 10 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Capitalism: Child Labor
    Experimental

    Capitalism: Child Labor
    Ken Jacobs

    color, sound, 14 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Children / Youth
    • History
    • Political / Social Activism
  • Read More
    Capitalism: Slavery
    Experimental

    Capitalism: Slavery
    Ken Jacobs

    black and white, silent, 3 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Political / Social Activism
  • Read More
    Amorous Interludes
    Experimental

    Amorous Interludes
    Ken Jacobs

    color and b/w, silent and sound, 14 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • History
    • Technology
  • Read More
    Return to the Scene of the Crime
    Experimental

    Return to the Scene of the Crime
    Ken Jacobs

    color, sound, 93 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Appropriation / Detournement
  • Read More
    ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom With Puffy Cheeks)
    Experimental

    ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom With Puffy Cheeks)
    Ken Jacobs

    anaglyph 3-d color, sound, 109 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    The Scenic Route
    Experimental

    The Scenic Route
    Ken Jacobs

    color and b/w, sound, 25 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Razzle Dazzle the Lost World

    Razzle Dazzle the Lost World
    Ken Jacobs

    color and b/w, 90 min
    Rental formats: DVD NTSC, Digi Beta NTSC
  • Read More
    Walkway
    Experimental

    Walkway
    Ken Jacobs

    color, sound, 8.2 min
    Rental format: mini DV NTSC
    • Environment / Nature
  • Read More
    Jonas Mekas In Kodachrome Days
    Experimental

    Jonas Mekas In Kodachrome Days
    Ken Jacobs

    color, silent, 3 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Hot Dogs at the Met
    Experimental

    Hot Dogs at the Met
    Ken Jacobs

    color, sound, 10 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Children / Youth
    • Family
  • Read More
    The Day Was a Scorcher
    Documentary
    Experimental

    The Day Was a Scorcher
    Ken Jacobs

    color, silent, 8 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    The Pushcarts Leave Eternity Street
    Experimental

    The Pushcarts Leave Eternity Street
    Ken Jacobs

    color, sound, 13 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • History
  • Read More
    Seeking the Monkey King
    Experimental

    Seeking the Monkey King
    Ken Jacobs

    color, sound, 40 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
  • Read More
    Another Occupation
    Experimental

    Another Occupation
    Ken Jacobs

    color and b/w, sound, 14 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Ethnographic
    • Films About Film
    • Found Footage
    • Political / Social Activism
  • Read More
    3 X 3D
    Experimental

    3 X 3D
    Ken Jacobs

    Blu-Ray Disc 3D, color and b/w, sound, 187 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Environment / Nature
    • Political / Social Activism

Biography

"One of the founders of the American avant-garde cinema, Ken Jacobs (b. 1933) has been working ceaselessly and boundlessly in film, video and moving image performance for over fifty years. Jacobs began working in a mode of guerilla cinema, shooting anarchic and exuberant – yet also politically astute – theatrics in the streets of his native New York in the early 1950s, including a number of prescient and Beat infused works – Little Stabs at Happiness, the shorts included in The Whirled – made with a very young Jack Smith.

Fascinated with early cinema and experimental film from a young age, Jacobs gradually turned to found footage as a dominant inspiration, a breakthrough marked by his seminal deconstruction of cinematic narrative and illusionism Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (1969), which famously manipulates and expands a 1905 film of the same name to create a breathless and revelatory work of pure cinema. Early “primitive” cinema, and increasingly, nineteenth century photography, has remained a touchstone in Jacobs’ work and a principal tool to launch an extended critique of the aesthetic, ideological and technological limits defining film and the cinematic apparatus itself. In the 1970s Jacobs took this critique to another level, defining what he termed “paracinema,” a radical mode of moving image performance that included his Nervous System Performances, transformative film experiences that use two simultaneous 16mm projectors and a variety of live sound and music to explore those audio-visual dimensions hidden within the film strip. Endlessly curious about technology, Jacobs embraced the possibilities of video in a meeting of the digital, early film/photography and 3-D imagery that magically bridges the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries and has given way to such powerful and sublimely beautiful works as Krypton is Doomed, and, most recently, Razzle Dazzle: The Lost World. Among Jacobs’ most important inventions is his Nervous Magic Lantern, a mysterious and mesmerizing performance of light and shadow that returns to cinema’s most essential roots, and which he evocatively describes as 'cinema without film or electronics.'" - Harvard Film Archive

Archive

  • See More

    33:07

    MM Serra interview with Ken Jacobs #1

  • See More

    30:06

    MM Serra interview with Ken Jacobs #2