Foundations of Science 23 (2):217-230 (2018)

In 1969 the American avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs gained wide recognition with a two-hour long interpretation of a 1905 silent short film. Ever since, the artist has kept on revisiting the same material, each time with a different technological approach. Originally hailed as a prime example of structural filmmaking, Jacobs’ more recent variations on the theme of Tom Tom the Piper’s Son beg for a broader understanding of his methods and the meanings implied. To gain a deeper insight in this on-going mise-en-abyme, this essay expands comments by the artist himself with concepts taken from animation, media-archaeology and Warburg’s Mnemosyne atlas. Rereading a filmic text with minute attention, remediating it from an analogue to an electronic format, and reanimating the original action by adding a variety of intervals: all Jacobs’ strategies are aimed at demonstrating the afterlife of Tom Tom in a contemporary cultural context.
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DOI 10.1007/s10699-016-9515-6
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