Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shocked by Existence

Recent Video Works by Ken Jacobs

California College of the Arts

Ken Jacobs in person
presented in association with Microcinema International
[members: $5 / non-members: $10 / CCA students & faculty: free]

Making a rare appearance in the Bay Area, seminal filmmaker Ken Jacobs presents a selection of new work in digital video that demonstrates the diversity of his cinema. Jacobs’ newest videos encompass improvised performance, experimental narrative, personal documentary, and found footage, and this program includes a return to the period in which Jacobs produced small-gauge “chamber works” (his term for the 8mm and 16mm shorts he made in the sixties). As always, his exploration of diverse genres, methods, and media is unified here by his persistent pursuit of what Stan Brakhage called “the adventure of perception.” Also in evidence in this program is Jacobs’ longstanding engagement with twentieth-century composers, including Olivier Messiaen and Charles Ives. (Federico Windhausen)

A program of recent short videos, some of them animated stereographs of family and friends. These include A Scorcher in Italy, Jonas Mekas in Kodachrome Days, Hot Dogs at the Met, Bob Fleischner Dying and Gravity is Tops. What Happened on 23rd Street in 1901 is an elaboration of an Edison short and “excerpt from The Sky Socialist stratified” is a digital revisit to an 8mm feature I shot in 1963/64. Brain Operations is a merciless plunge into op-tickle phenomena — and I mean merciless. And I mean plunge. Combining 2D with 3D is so wrong (don’t you think?), often resulting in an impossible and unholy 2 and 1/2D. “Avant-garde” used to mean “naked people.” Now one is actually expected to watch this sinful cine-miscegenation with eyes slightly crossed, as they are now while you read this. (Ken Jacobs)

Download program notes