Ken Jacobs


Ken Jacobs (born May 25, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American experimental filmmaker. His style often involves the use of found footage which he edits and manipulates. He has also directed films using his own footage.

Ken Jacobs directed Blonde Cobra in 1963. This short film stars Jack Smith who directed his own Flaming Creatures the same year. In 1969 he directed Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son (1969, USA), in which he took the original 1905 short film and manipulated the footage to recontextualize it. This is considered an important first example of deconstruction in film. The film was admitted to the National Film Registry in 2007. His Star Spangled to Death (2004, USA) is a nearly seven-hour film consisting largely of found footage. Jacobs began compiling the archival footage in the 1950s and the film took years to complete.

Jacobs taught at the Cinema Department at Harpur College at Binghamton University from 1969 to 2002. His son Azazel Jacobs is also a filmmaker.

In the 1990s, Jacobs began working with John Zorn and experimented with a stroboscopic effect, digital video, and 3D effects.

Wikidata identifier


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Country of birth

United States


Artist, cinematographer

ULAN identifier



Ken Jacobs, Kenneth Jacobs

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 13, 2024.