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©Ken Jacobs

Time Squared
Filmmaker Ken Jacobs in Attendance
Co-presented with Houston Cinema Arts Festival

Friday, November 14, 7:00PM
Aurora and HCAS members $12, Non-members $15
For tickets

Aurora Picture Show and Houston Cinema Arts Society co-present a unique opportunity on Friday, November 14 at 7PM to see a film performance by and with American experimental film-maker Ken Jacobs, a legend and pioneer of expanded cinema, at Aurora Picture Show (2442 Bartlett Street). Ken Jacobs has explored varieties of 3D perception through projector performances for the past five decades, often drawing upon early cinema and other found images to transform the original material into new cinematic experiences.

In conjunction with the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, Ken Jacobs is coming to Houston to stage a film performance called Time Squared.  With the aid of his magician's assistant (and wife), Flo, Jacobs will perform on his own invention, the Nervous Magic Lantern, which he describes as "a device so elemental it puts us in the running with the very earliest inventors of cinema." The Nervous Magic Lantern uses projected light to create stereoscopic effects that resemble animated visual patterns. A box, colored slides, a glass lens, and a spinning shutter are hand manipulated by the artist to interrupt light and cast images that are reflected onto the screen, creating optical illusions without celluloid or video.

Part of his Nervous Magic Lantern series, in Time Squared, images are set to the surround-sound of a subway trip from the artist's home in downtown Manhattan to Times Square and back. Of the hallucinogenic effect of this simple, yet complex, cinematic ride, Jacobs has stated, "Please don't knock yourself out looking for meanings in these images. I wouldn't recognize a pictorial meaning if it was served in my soup. Pictorial pleasure is what I'm after as I listen during Time Squared to the never-ending rhapsody of the subway." And in preparation for the show, Jacobs has this tip, "Do not prepare with drugs, the Nervous Magic Lantern is the drug."

In addition to the magical performance, Jacobs will show a film, Opening the 19th Century: 1896 (1990, 11 min.), drawing on Lumiere footage that each member of the audience will view through a Pulfrich filter.

Jacobs' 3D explorations will continue on November 15 at Sundance Cinemas at 1:00p.m. with a new film presented on DCP, Blankets for Indians, in collaboration with Blaffer On Screen, and at the Brandon Gallery from November 12-December 12 as part of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival's "Cinema on the Verge" program.

(Warning: a discernible flicker operates on the senses. Not for those afflicted with epilepsy or other unusual brain conditions.)

A seminal figure of American avant-garde film, Ken Jacobs (b. 1933) has worked incessantly with film, video and moving images for over 50 years. From his first films in the late 1950s to his recent experiments with digital video, his investigations and innovations have influenced countless artists. He has received numerous awards, including the Maya Deren Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts. In 1969, with the help of Larry Gottheim and Gottheim's students (one of whom was J. Hoberman, current senior film critic for the Village Voice), Jacobs began the Cinema Department at SUNY Binghamton and taught there until 2002. His films, videos, and performances have been received at such international venues as the Berlin Film Festival, the London Film Festival; the Hong Kong Film Festival; the New York Film Festival; the American Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. He was a featured filmmaker at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2004, and Courtisane Festival, Ghent in 2014.

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