Optic Antics: The Cinema of Ken Jacobs


Average: 5 (1 vote)

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.

"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

Google Books data: 


Please notice that our website is not a shop. The items listed here are just for reference. Links will be provided when the publication is not generally available via standard retailers.


Marcos Ortega's picture



Your rating: None

A long-overdue (and absolutely essential) book. 'Optic antics' covers every aspect of Jacobs' filmwork, from his early films with Jack Smith, the seminal 'Tom tom, the piper's son' to his Nervous System and Nervous Magic Lantern performances. And a highly enjoyable read too.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Replaces [VIDEO::http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=someVideoID::aVideoStyle] tags with embedded videos.
  • Use [fn]...[/fn] (or <fn>...</fn>) to insert automatically numbered footnotes.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <br> <p> <br/> <u> <img> <hr>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Use <bib>citekey</bib> or [bib]citekey[/bib] to insert automatically numbered references.
  • This creates an in line reference to another publication.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.



Michele Pierson (Editor), David E. James (Editor), Paul Arthur (Editor)


39.95 USD



Publishing date: 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011