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Artist’s Choice: Ken Jacobs

December 7, 2013

Ken Jacobs explains that we both see and hear in three-dimensions. December 2013. Photograph by Jake Naughton

Throughout his career, artist Ken Jacobs has explored the relationship between the cinema screen and the human eye. During this workshop he took families on an optical journey through the history of 3-D. His work was on view in the exhibition Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980. In his film “Slow is Beauty”—Rodin, 1974, Jacobs documented his own family creating shadows behind a screen by doing mundane tasks such as moving a chair, bouncing a balloon, or picking up planks of wood. By doing so he looks to estrange everyday actions from their original context, allowing the audience to experience them afresh. Using polarized lights he creates what he calls “3-D shadowplay” where the shadows appear to pop out at you.  Families had the unique opportunity to learn about his practice and to engage with many objects that the artist brought from his home.