Sunday 24 October 2021, 7.30pm
Please note that all of the films in this programme contain flashing and strobing images.
Celebrating the release of “Dirk Schaefer : Peter Tscherkassky, All the Soundtracks (2005–2021)” by purge.xxx, Sonic Cinema presents Peter Tscherkassky & Dirk Schaefer’s four collaborations to date: Train Again (2021); The Exquisite Corpus (2015); Coming Attractions (2010); Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005); as well as Tscherkassky’s classic of avant-garde cinema Outer Space (1999).
All films will be projected in their original 35mm format. We’re thrilled to welcome Tscherkassky’s composer and sound designer Dirk Schaefer to Cafe OTO for a discussion with Stanley Schtinter (purge.xxx).
The films of Peter Tscherkassky have played a central role in the international reawakening of interest in avant-garde film. At the turn from a photographic to a digital culture of moving images, his work follows in the footsteps of Austrian masters Kurt Kren, Peter Kubelka, and Ernst Schmidt Jr. to create a thrilling filmic language that engages psychoanalysis and semiotics whilst exploring the physicality of the medium and its potential to overwhelm both visually and sonically. Tscherkassky’s working method – painstakingly hand printing found-footage material frame-by-frame in the darkroom – gives his films a deeply materialist sensibility, yet through the flickering fragments they also maintain cinema’s ability to shock and thrill. Dirk Schaefer’s sound design, which is intrinsically coupled to Tscherkassky’s images, constantly surprises with its chopped speech, repetitive musical refrains, arrhythmic noises, progressive buzzing and deep silences.
Programmed by Oliver Dickens.
Sonic Cinema is dedicated to the memory of Louis Benassi.
MASTERCLASS WITH DIRK SCHAEFER
We’re thrilled to announce that Dirk Shaefer will give a unique masterclass on his practice and methodologies prior to this screening on 24 October 2021, 11am at IKLECTIK.
Full details and booking here: https://iklectikartlab.com/a-masterclass-with-dirk-schaefer
- Outer Space (Peter Tscherkassky, 1999, 10 min, 35mm)*
- Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (Peter Tscherkassky, 2005, 17 min, 35mm) **
- Coming Attractions (Peter Tscherkassky, 2010, 25’10 min, 35mm)**
- The Exquisite Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky, 2015, 19 min, 35mm) **
- Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky, 2021, 20 min, 35mm) **
*soundtrack by Peter Tscherkassky
**soundtrack by Dirk Schaefer
The original soundtracks by Dirk Schaefer for the films of Peter Tscherkassky. Newly mastered and available for the first time, this boxset covers the heroic partnership of Schaefer and Tscherkassky, from 2005’s Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine through to the forthcoming Train Again in 2021. Each 12" double vinyl album comes with a 7" flexi disc of Tscherkassky’s own soundtrack for Outer Space (also available separately).
Numbered + handmade in an edition of 250 copies (continuing the uniform established with previous purge.xxx editions); 2x180gr vinyl in custom-made screen-printed outer (sealed), containing two risograph inserts featuring original writing by musician Dirk Schaefer and filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky with visual material by Tscherkassky.
Born 1961 (Bielefeld, Westphalia). Lives and works in Berlin and Cologne.
Composer of original soundtrack scores and soundscapes for film. Schaefer offers a ‘total concept’ of sound scoring, using music, speech and noise to compose ‘aesthetical units’ that lead and disturb their visual counterpart in equal measure.
The purge.xxx album of his complete collaborations with Peter Tscherkassky is his debut record release.
His most regular collaborators are with Peter Tscherkassky and Matthias Müller, with whom he has worked since 1985, as well as Claudia Schillinger, Davo Defurne, Michael Bynntrup, Antoni Pinent and others. Schaefer works in parallel as a writer, publishing a book on Friedrich Nietzsche and his sisters, as well as numerous articles on diverse topics: King Kong, Joseph Cornell, opening titles. He is a frequent lecturing in Germany and internationally on film and sound.
Born 1956 (Vienna, Austria). Lives and works in Vienna.
Tscherkassky, like his films, is a singular phenomenon: moving freely between the contemporary art world and mainstream film festivals while retaining every bit of his integrity as an extremely challenging and enigmatic experimental filmmaker. Indeed, he is probably the world’s best known experimental filmmaker and certainly the most celebrated.
Tscherkassky’s film work explores the photochemical nature of the image by means of intensive darkroom work carried out with found footage. From 1979 until 1986 he studied philosophy at the universities of Berlin and Vienna, where his doctorate included a thesis on aesthetics and avant-garde cinema. Tscherkassky first became interested in avant-garde cinema thanks to a series of lectures in Vienna given by the film historian P. Adams Sitney in 1978. This initial encounter represented a definitive revelation and contributed to Tscherkassky's determination to work as an artist, an agitator, a curator and a theorist.
Tscherkassky started making films in 1979, using Super 8 film. In 1991 he co-founded sixpackfilm, together with Brigitta Burger-Utzer. Over the course of his career he has made some 30 films, including his CinemaScope Trilogy (1997-2001): L’arrivée, Outer Space and Dream Work; Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005); Coming Attractions (2010); The Exquisite Corpus (2015); and Train Again (2021). These films have received over 50 awards, including the Golden Gate Award (San Francisco), the Oberhausen Grand Prize and the award for best short film at the Venice Film Festival. His work is frequently premiered at Cannes Film Festival.
Ranging between the reuse of film material, the championing of traditional working methods and integrating certain structuralist perspectives, his approach to filmmaking in-volves detailed darkroom work and manual contact printing. The analogue technology he developed to alter each of the frames gives the image a particular photographic texture which emphasises the materiality of the emulsion, graphically impacting its surface (cracks, over prints, inscriptions, etc.) and the accompanying elements (perforations, soundtracks, instructions for screening, etc.).
In a recent feature on purge.xxx in The Wire magazine, the label’s founder, Stanley Schtinter, was defined by his “disregard for the music industry, self-promotion and prevailing cultural norms.” Dirk Schaefer’s collected scores for Peter Tscherkassky’s film is the fifth vinyl release from purge.xxx.
Sonic Cinema is a new research project and event series by Oliver Dickens, exploring the intersection of moving-image, sound art and experimental music practice.
Oliver is an independent film programmer based in the UK. He is a graduate of the Central Saint Martins/LUX MRes Art: Moving Image course and was cinema programmer at Close-Up Film Centre from 2016 to 2020.