Ken Jacobs & Aki Onda - Nervous Magic Lantern Performance part 4/4, 2007

Projection: Ken & Flo Jacobs
Music: Aki Onda

Nervous Magic Lantern Performance at Bozar, Brussels. Co-production Argos and Bozar. October 21, 2007

The Nervous Magic Lantern, a film projector Jacobs made himself, unravels an unexpected film before our eyes, without actors, without a plot, without celluloid or video. Making use of pre-cinematographic techniques an illusory dreamworld is created, where the spectator is immersed in alienating, rotating landscapes suggesting the shape of volcanic glass, desolate craters or glacial gorges. The result is a hallucinatory three-dimensional watching experience, in which impossible phenomena and non-existing locations come to life in the projected dimension between the screen and the gaze of the spectator, like an innuendo of abstract shapes.

Ken Jacobs (US, 1933) is a key figure in the post-war experimental film world. After his university studies he found himself in the vivid artistic climate of New York of the 50s and 60s, where he made a name for himself as a committed filmmaker and activist. Jacobs' films and performances explore the subconscious of the cinematic experience, the regions where the construction of light, movement, speed and frame incite a purely sensorial shadowplay, beyond the borders of cinematographic time and space.

Musician, composer and visual artist Aki Onda (US/JP, 1967) is always on the lookout, camera and sound recorder at hand, ready to document his travels and encounters. He looks for meaning in the accumulation of those memories, when the specific experiences fade out and the architecture and essence of the memory reveals itself. His ongoing project Cassette Memories consists of a series of performances, or rituals, where he lets memories, recorded on soundtape, wander and collide with the sounds of the site-specific memory. Onda has previously worked with such artists as Alan Licht, Loren Connors, Michael Snow and Otomo Yoshihide. This is his first collaboration with Ken Jacobs.

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