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Visiting Artists

Lecture Hall 6 at 7:30 (Unless otherwise noted)

Series sponsored by Broome County Arts Council
All artists will be on hand to present their works.

Tuesday March 17
Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson

Currently a visiting filmmaker in the Cinema Department, Michael Robinson will present a screening of eight of his films made since 2005.  Frequently working with abjected imagery - forgotten television, mid-century magazines - and overly familiar pop songs, Robinson's work flirts with a resigned pessimism, yet dares to find hope in the very heart of despair. The variations and differences in the works of this active and important young American filmmaker do not lead to immediate name recognition. But that is changing, especially following his numerous recent solo programs with prestigious groups like Anthology Film Archives, George Eastman House, the San Francisco Cinematheque, the Wexner Center and the Gene Siskel Film Center. Robinson represents a new cross-patching avant-garde, willfully hanging its pop references on the wrong cultural hooks and revealing a new nostalgia for the shroud that it is.

"There can no longer be any question that Robinson is the most significant new experimental filmmaker to emerge in the last decade."
-Michael Sicinski, GreenCine Daily

You Don't Bring Me Flowers - 8:00, 2005, 16mm

The General Returns From One Place to Another -11:00, 2006, mini-dv

Hold Me Now - 5:00, 2008, mini-dv
And We All Shine On - 7:00, 2006, 16mm

Light is Waiting - 11:00, 2007, mini-dv

Chiquitita and the Soft Escape - 10:00, 2003, 16mm
All Through the Night - 4:30, 2008, mini-dv

Victory Over the Sun - 12:30, 2007, 16mm

Tuesday April 21, 2009
Ken Jacobs

Ken Jacobs retired from Binghamton's Cinema department in 2003, Distinguished Professor of Cinema. He is returning to show some of his short films and videos and excerpts from his Magic Lantern performances on Tuesday April 21 and present more works the next morning. A third video work, Razzle Dazzle, will be screened without him, earlier on Thursday April 16.

One of the founders of the American avant-garde cinema, Ken Jacobs's work has inspired the sense of awe and mystery that nineteenth-century audiences must have felt when confronting motion pictures for the first time. Jacobs's lifelong project has been the aesthetic, social, and physical critique of projected images. His film, Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son (1969, USA), was admitted to the National Film Registry in 2007. He coined the term paracinema in the early 1970s, referring to cinema experiences provided by means outside of standard cinema technology. He was an influential teacher of Art Spiegelman of Maus fame, former painting student of Hans Hoffman, and in 1969 with Larry Gottheim started the Cinema department. He is included in the Whitney Museum's list of the hundred greatest artists of the twentieth century. He has been the object of numerous retrospectives in the US and in Europe at major institutions. He resides in New York City.

On Tuesday April 21, 2009 Ken Jacobs will present excerpts from past performances of the Nervous Magic Lantern and a few other shorts.

Abstraction can offer the opportunity to meet and grapple directly with risky situations, taking real chances instead of identifying with some actor-proxy on a movie-set.  The viewer of Nervous Magic Lantern phenomena plunges, hovers, sinks and rises into illusionary deep space.  The question of what we are looking at, tantalizingly suggestive as appearances might be, becomes of less urgency than from where in space we are viewing and where and of what consistency and shape and size is the mass confronting us at any one moment and when and how did it become what a moment ago it was not.  It might be best to think of what you and others see as a group hallucination.  My self-constructed "lantern" utilizes neither film nor video. - KJ

Ken Jacobs

Wednesday, April 22,
Note time: 10:05 am - 12:05, Lecture Hall 6
Ken Jacobs will present the following films and digital videos:

GLOBE 22  minutes
ALONE AT LAST  3 minutes
KRYPTON IS DOOMED  25 minutes.

Jacobs sci-fi: El Greco-like distortions accompanied by an evangelical Superman radio program.

Wednesday, April 29 at 8:00 pm
Razzle Dazzle, The Lost World. Digital Video by Ken Jacobs.
91 min. 2006-07.

"An eye-popper and brain-boggler, "Razzle Dazzle" is also,   remarkably, a thing to stir the soul, delivering in its final stretch an astonishing, unexpected political jolt that elevates what appeared to be a mere (if marvelous) formal triumph into a shattering confrontation. Arriving at this magic moment makes for one of the most striking imaginative and perceptual adventures since the advent of digital video cinema."  - Nathan Lee, New York Times, June 27 , 2008
"Jacobs slices the image like a sausage, introduces new colors, creates floating vapors. As he focuses ever more closely on the original material, however, this excavation becomes a memento mori. Faces start to resemble skulls; Old Man Edison himself materializes, or rather his voice, talking about the "Great War." The stereopticons obligingly provide images of soldiers, battlefields, and Jesus hovering in the sky. Ultimately, these are compressed into a planet of skulls and bones, spinning mid-screen like a Buddhist mandala." - Jim Hoberman, Village Voice, June 24, 2008
RAZZLE DAZZLE The Lost World is an early Edison shot cut off at its  head and tail and along its four sides from the continuity of events like any camera-shot from a bygone day; no, like any camera-shot,  immediately producing an abstraction.  This abstraction pictures a great spinning maypole-like device lined with young passengers dipping and lifting as it circles through space.  They look out - from their place at the start of the 20th century - with a remarkable variety of expressions, giddy to pensive.  We observe them but of course they see nothing of this, our America, hopelessly gone to rot, its mountaintops leveled for extraction of coal, rivers and air polluted, crisscrossed everywhere with property-lines; they don't see its prisons or the corporations leaning in from their off-shore tax-bases to see what more they can take.  Early stereopticon images also appear, digitally manipulated to reveal their depths.  A digital shadow falls upon the scene and yet, grim as things get, as our crimes and failures then and now commingle, the movie proceeds with a cubist/abstract-expressionist zest.

Ken Jacobs visit is funded in part by Presentation Funds from the Experimental Television Center which is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and is co-sponsored by Harpur College Dean's Office.
Info: 607-777-4998 or 777-4997


Last Updated: 8/25/16