Peter Tscherkassky is an Austrian filmmaker in the 1980s where his work is exclusively found footage, where he uses film and edits them in the darkroom. He would rather work with film raw then an intervention of technology. He combines and overlaps film in creating different scenarios at once, which creates its own setting depending on the film.
In my presentation, I implemented three different films. The first one in my presentation a mini clip in 1999 called Get Ready. The second one is called Outer Space in 1999. And last but not least, his latest film in 2005 called Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine. All of them are exclusively found film put together but share a similar theme throughout. These films evoke a dreamy, unreal scene where it plays with different scenes and people. In Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine, Tscherkassky chooses Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), for his project is vital. In addition, this work has both narrative and formal aspects, but it goes one further in the way it calls attention to its narrative, its aesthetic and its medium, all at once. And the fact that these are experimental films being made in 35mm CinemaScope. It somehow makes it more appealing and honorable to watch his work since he puts so much time and planning into it. “Tscherkassky takes the shots through his elaborate transfer process, extracting, distorting, stressing and degrading them. Sometimes he repeats, reverses, negates, overexposes and overlaps the shots, creating a highly familiar yet vastly different stream of images”. The sounds he uses technological sounds and mechanical noises. Some of these noises are very familiar and you hear in every day life, like sirens.
His technique goes hand in hand with his concept of the subconscious thinking because it is not just film from one particular place but a mixture of everything. This shows how we as human beings go through one day viewing and experiencing so many events they all tend to mesh at the end of the day as we think about it in an unconscious level. His sound goes along with this because it is not something you can make out but murmured as the day goes on and new encounters arise.
My interpretation of his work is that it takes place in an old setting allowing me to flashback to a time that I never existed but always wanted to encounter. His films helped me experience this in a very surreal way because its very dream like to me. It makes me believe that I somehow took over someone’s body at that point and time and saw this happening to me. I. Personally, enjoy this factor because it intrigues me to experience more and enter a temporary life.