Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Forum Expanded

Ulysses in the Subway

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A picturing of sound in 3D.
We hear a recording of Ken’s subway ride up to 42nd Street, his wanderings in the Times Square station, his ride downtown on the A train, and his return to street-level on Chambers Street. Finally, his climb to the 5th floor loft where Flo (Penelope) awaits him.
Sound-as-image turns fleeting presences (voices, footsteps, a steel-drum performance) into epic visual events. A still image may linger, allowing our gaze to wander through the complex particularities of a moment of ordinary noise. This richness of imagery reflects the fact that for every 1/24th of a second, there are 2000 audio samples recorded. Each frame, then, is built from these 2000 sources; constructed, that is, in 3D from more than 21 different ways of algorithmically analyzing and visualizing sound. So while the sound is always pictured accurately, the way it’s pictured can change dramatically.
Past intrudes on present as Edison’s 1905 film of this very path through the NY subway appears, also rendered in 3D. Long-gone passengers on the Grand Central platform connect to sounds of passengers today. Near the end, Betty Boop also puts in an appearance.

by
Marc Downie
Paul Kaiser
Flo Jacobs
Ken Jacobs

USA 2016

English

59 min · Colour & Black/White · 3D

Crew

Director
Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, Flo Jacobs, Ken Jacobs
Producer
Paul Kaiser

Biography

Marc Downie

Marc Downie, born in 1977 in Aberdeen, Scotland, is a digital artist, filmmaker, and programmer based in Chicago whose pioneering approach to digital art frequently combines three signature elements: non-photorealistic 3D rendering, the incorporation of body movement by motion-capture and other means, and the autonomy of artworks directed or assisted by artificial intelligence. He has enjoyed a long-standing artistic collaboration with Paul Kaiser as part of OpenEndedGroup. Since receiving his PhD from the MIT Media Lab in 2005, he has expanded his thesis work into the open source software Field, which the group relies upon to this day in creating works of cinema, dance, installation, music, public art, and virtual reality.

Filmography (selection)

1999 Ghostcatching; film installation 2007 Forest; video installation 2009 Point A —> B; film installation 2010 Upending; 60 min. · Stairwell; film installation · After Ghostcatching 2011 Loops; 14 min. 2012 Plant; 16 min. 2013 All Sides of the Road; 12 min. · Knight’s Rest; 6 min. · All Day; film installation, 5 min. 2014 12 Stabs at Blade Runner; 21 min. · Saccades; 36 min. · Detroit Transect 2016 Ulysses in the Subway

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

Paul Kaiser

Paul Kaiser, born in 1956 in Munich, Germany, is a digital artist, filmmaker, and writer based in New York who frequently practices the art of collaboration. Together with his OpenEndedGroup colleague Marc Downie he has created works that span a wide range of forms and disciplines, including 3D film, dance, installation, music, and public art. Outside collaborators in the performing arts have included Robert Wilson, Merce Cunningham, Bill T. Jones, and Trisha Brown.

Filmography (selection)

1999 Ghostcatching; film installation 2007 Forest; video installation 2009 Point A —> B; film installation 2010 Upending; 60 min. · Stairwell; film installation · After Ghostcatching 2011 Loops 2012 Plant; 16 min. 2013 All Sides of the Road; 12 min. · Knight’s Rest; 6 min. · All Day; film installation, 5 min. 2014 12 Stabs at Blade Runner; 21 min. · Saccades; 36 min. · Detroit Transect 2016 Ulysses in the Subway

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

Flo Jacobs

Flo Jacobs, born in 1941 in New York, USA, is a New York-based painter. She has been working with Ken Jacobs since leaving art school in the very early 1960s. She is a performer in his films and shadowplays and mother to two artists (see her in MOMMA’S MAN by Azazel Jacobs). Still a painter, she has effectively pulled Ken’s art away from narrative and into essence, that which exists.

Filmography

1991 Keaton’s Cops; 23 min. 2013 The Guests; 73 min., Forum 2014 2016 Ulysses in the Subway

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

Ken Jacobs

Ken Jacobs was born in 1933 in New York, USA. He studied painting with Hans Hofmann from 1956 to 1957. He started making films in 1955. In 1966, Jacobs founded the Millennium Film Workshop, of which he was the director until 1968. A year later he started the Department of Cinema at the State University of New York in Binghamton. He taught there from 1974 until his retirement in 2000. Along with teaching cinema, he has made a number of experimental films and videos, which have been shown worldwide. In addition, he has presented a series of film performances under the names “The Nervous System” since the mid 1970s and “The Nervous Magic Lantern” since 2000.

Filmography (selection)

1955 Orchard Street 1959 Star Spangled to Death 1963 The Whirled · Blonde Cobra · Baud’larian Capers 1960 Little Stabs at Happiness 1964 Window · The Winter Footage 1967 Air Shaft 1968 Soft Rain · Nissan Ariana Window 1969 Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son · Globe 1975 Urban Peasants 1978 The Doctor’s Dream 1985 Perfect Film · The Winter Footage 1990 Opening the Nineteenth Century: 1896 1991 Keaton’s Cops 1995 The Georgetown Loop · Disorient Express 1999 Flo Rounds a Corner 2002 A Tom Tom Chaser · Circling Zero: Part One, We See Absence 2003 Keeping an Eye on Stan · Capitalism: Slavery 2004 Celestial Subway Lines/Salvaging Noise · Mountaineer Spinning · Star Spangled to Death 2006 New York Ghetto Fishmarket 1903 2007 Let There Be Whistleblowers · Razzle Dazzle (The Lost World) · Capitalism: Child Labor · Anaglyph Tom (Tom with Puffy Cheeks) 2009 What Happened on 23rd Street in 1901 2011 Seeking the Monkey King 2012 Street Vendor · Cyclopean 3D Life with a Beautiful Woman · Blankets for Indians 3D 2013 A Primer in Sky Socialism · Joys of Waiting for the Broadway Bus · The Guests 2014 Pygmalion Cubed · Canopy · Cyclops Observes the Celestial Bodies 2016 Popeye Sees 3D · Ulysses in the Subway; 59 Min., Forum Expanded 2017, with Flo Jacobs, Marc Downie, and Paul Kaiser 2017 Shelley Duvall is Olive Oyl

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018

Produced by

OpenEndedGroup
openendedgroup.com