Jack Henry Moore was never one of the stars of London’s counterculture. But you can be sure the scene’s most famous names all knew his.
From creating sound and vision for Pink Floyd’s legendary UFO club, to filming John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s bagism ‘happening’, to his involvement with the cult underground paper International Times and helping to set up the pivotal 24-Hour Technicolour Dream, Jack was a fixture of the city’s creative core.
He was also a pioneering video artist, creating a huge film archive featuring cultural lodestones such as Dylan to Dali, an acid happening on Hampstead Heath with DJ and mod scenester Jeff Dexter, and even rare early-’70s footage of the Dalai Lama.
Dig, in association with the National Lottery, has recently started bringing that archive to life. We have begun the process of restoring and digitising Jack’s old video tapes.
Dig was formed with the express purpose of safeguarding and properly archiving Jack’s vast catalogue of films, some dating back to the early ’60s. Jack’s lifestyle and often straitened circumstances meant they were in danger of being destroyed after his death. At the request of the executors we drove from the UK to Amsterdam to salvage what we could of the collection – hundreds of video cassettes and reel-to-reel recordings and an extensive library of art posters.
In time, our aim is to share with the public as much footage as possible, creating a vital document of an incredibly fertile period in British culture, while also telling the extraordinary story of Jack himself.
First up is a teaser documentary about Jack and his work, featuring interviews with friends and former collaborators.
It was produced with the help of young trainees from Salford University, MediaCityUK UTC and young people from Salford City Councils Salford Futures Project, who gained experience in a range of technical, management and marketing skills. They worked with producers, editors, camera people and production crew with decades in the industry developing film and digital content, frequently with a strong focus on the arts.
This is the start of a long-running project that will shine light on a complicated but hugely creative man whose work captured and celebrated the counterculture at its peak, then followed its waves and ripples over the ensuing decades.
It’s a voyage of discovery – and we’re just starting to see where it takes us.
Authors: Steve Yates and Simon Marsland