Kenneth Jacobs

Ken Jacobs

New York, NY

Ken Jacobs was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1933. His films, videos and performances have been presented at venues such as the Berlin, London, Hong Kong, Tribeca and New York Film Festivals; the American Museum of the Moving Image, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany; and the Louvre in Paris. Jacob has received numerous awards, including the Maya Deren Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a DAAD 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 2007, his film Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son was named to the National Film Registry. In 2011, Anthology Film Archives featured his work in the series Ken Jacobs in 3 Dimensions, and in 2013, the Museum of Modern Art and Anthology Film Archives celebrated Jacobs’s 80th birthday with retrospective programs. Jacobs is Distinguished Professor of Cinema Emeritus at SUNY Binghamton.

Joys of Waiting for the Broadway Bus / A Primer In Sky Socialism

Ken Jacobs

Artist Bio

Joys of Waiting for the Broadway Bus is a dense optical event in four 40-minute parts, meant to be seen over four days. This film project by Ken Jacobs is composed almost entirely of three-dimensional stills taken on a series of bus rides in New York City, with each onscreen for 6 to 8 seconds instead of the usual rapid turnover used to create the illusion of movement. In taking the observed activity from street-corner to computer, Jacobs toys with depth and elevates the mundane into the impossible. Each three-dimensional vista is held onscreen long enough for viewers to process them individually and take a deeper look at the changing tableaus.

A second 3-D film, A Primer in Sky Socialism, is a tribute to the Brooklyn Bridge and the idealism of the Roebling family, who designed the bridge. Jacobs and his wife have a New Year’s Eve tradition of joining the young and many-languaged crowd walking to the top of Brooklyn Bridge, ostensibly for the fireworks. He writes, “Fact is, the crowd and the bridge comprise the spectacle. The Bridge has been particularly dear to us since the ’60s, when we learned the story of the Roeblings, father and son and daughter-in-law. The Bridge embodies their wishes for America, their blessing—nothing less.” A Primer in Sky Socialism is a follow-up to Jacobs’ earlier 8mm film, The Sky Socialist.

Award Year