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Avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs constantly finds new ways to unleash the latent power of moving images by using archival footage in new forms; he takes home movies, early silent movies, and fragments from existing film and transforms the original material into new cinematic experiences. Jacobs is the subject of a new book, Optic Antics: The Cinema of Ken Jacobs (Oxford University Press, ed. Michele Pierson, David James, Paul Arthur), and of an upcoming retrospective at Moving Image.

The Georgetown Loop

Dir. Ken Jacobs. 1996. 11 mins. Silent.

In this split-screen work, a 1903 film record of a train ride through the Colorado Rockies is mirrored against itself, creating a hypnotic and kaleidoscopic visual experience.

The Day was a Scorcher

Dir. Ken Jacobs. 2006. 8 mins. Silent.

Home-movie footage from the artist’s family trip to Italy is digitally turned into a 3-D vacation album.