Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Film and the Creation of Mind: Conversation with Ken Jacobs, film artist; 10/14/99 by Harry Kreisler.

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Archival photos are courtesy of Ken Jacobs.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today Ken Jacobs, a film artist in residence this week at the Pacific Film Archive on the Berkeley campus. For more than 35 years, drawing on his skills as an imaginative illusionist, a workman-like tinkerer, and a worshiper of film frame by frame, Ken Jacobs has confronted reality and unmasked established powers. He creates, through his art, disorienting experiences which strangely empower the viewer. Combining elements of comedy, tragedy, history and mystery, his artistry connects the viewers with their feelings, their visual faculties, and most importantly, with experience.

  1. Background ... family ... mentors ... trips to the museum ... discovering film ... studying under Hans Hofmann
  2. Film and Other Media ... use of time... a form of thinking
  3. Film Artist: Form ... mining film ... disorienting the viewer ... choosing not to become a traditional director
  4. Film Artist: Substance ... importance of the city ... political perspective ... other artistic influences ... failure of popular movies ... art as the making of mind
  5. Lessons Learned ... frustrations of the artist ... lessons of the Giuliani - Brooklyn Museum controversy ... finding what is vital

Ken Jacobs's week-long residency at UC Berkeley in October 1999 included two Nervous System performances and a lecture at the Pacific Film Archive / Berkeley Art Museum. Ken Jacobs's residency at Berkeley was a project of The Time of Your Life: Enhancing Student Engagement with the Arts, funded by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

© Copyright 1999, Regents of the University of California

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