Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Ken Jacobs & Eric La Casa

For more than forty years, Ken Jacobs, has operated as one of the most provocative spirits in experimental film.  His films map out an indeterminate cinema, a cinema in which the temporal nature of film is examined and questioned to examine detail and salvage meaning from situations. Does it have to be and feel linear? Is 24 frames a second really the best way to capture time?  He sets up situations in which you as the viewer can questions what you’ve just seen, can mine detail and information, and actively determine your own experience and relationship to what it is you’re seeing.

And he’s one of the great progenitors of film as performance in the US; his Nervous Lantern Performances of the 70’s onwards took short clips of film (a static steam train, a few seconds of Laurel and Hardy) and striped them from real time, allowing for a flickering and 3 dimensional investigation of details, movement and meaning.


At KYTN Ken is presenting his latest development on the Nervous System, his Nervous Magic Lantern, in which film itself is forsaken for an investigation of flickering, hypnotic and trancelike, crystaline forms.


For his performance at KYTN Ken wanted to collaborate with someone who could salvage beauty and meaning from the everyday, the mundane in a way similar to his approach to film. And we think Eric La Casa is the perfect foil. Eric's work focuses on the recording of everyday occurrences, spaces and events, maybe the internal thrum of lifts in Paris, or of the most common natural elements and landscapes.  He puts himself in I guess very privileged positions, from which he tries to capture not just interesting sounds or timbres, but the actual vibration of spaces, or locations: the background hum of place, the musicality of invisible reaches.  In the same way that Ken salvages meaning from film time, Eric makes real the feeling that as he has put it, ‘there is somewhere else everywhere’.  And so as Ken mines for meaning, and for your ability to determine your own relationship to image, Eric brings forward the sounds of everyday life, and allows you to relate to them on your own terms too; to find your own reality in them.

  • Audio

  • Video - Edit

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • Video - Gayle Meikle

  • Video - Full

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0