Online lecture and screening by professor Ingo Petzke on sound and music in experimental films

Feature film uses sound/music simply to heighten the emotional feeling of the public – and consequently, to “manipulate” its audience. Experimental film is more truthful: film is an audio-visual medium hence the sound is treated equal to the visual. This lecture intends to deal with different approaches to music/sound as can be witnessed in experimental film.

It will start with one of the early constructivist film (Ruttmann, Richter, Eggeling) who were all given musical terms (Opus, Rhythm, Symphony). Then on to early optical sound that didn't have any visuals yet (Ruttmann: Weekend). On to film created without help of sound but perfectly in sync with sound (Fischinger: Studie Nr 7) or a different technique but not in sync (Fischinger: Motion Painting No.1). Directly scratched onto the film strip (Lye: Free Radicals)

Psychedelics (Lawder: Corridor). Last a film by a former student, minimal in visuals and sound (Dittebrand: Bamboo)


Prof. Dr. phil. Ingo Petzke, PhD. Over 30 years of working as a filmmaker, teacher, author and curator. Teaching at universities and arts academies in 31 countries around the world. Founder of four film festivals. Numerous books and articles. Supervisor of roughly 2,000 student films.

Special expertise and research:

  • (Short) film history;
  • Experimental / Avant-garde film

Academic and professional qualifications:

  • 1973 Magister Artium at Ruhr- Universität Bochum (Germany)
  • 2004 PhD By Published Works at Bond University (Australia)
  • 2006 Dr. phil. at Osnabrück University (Germany)

Major positions held:

  • 1983 – 2013 Film Professor, University of Applied Sciences Würzburg (Germany)
  • 1991 Visiting Professor, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
  • 2001 – 2006 Associate Professor, Bond University, Australia
  • 2009 – 2011 Director, Steinbeiss Research Center Experimental Film
  • 2008 – 2018 Adjunct Professor, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Current research projects:

  • A concise history of German Experimental Film culture
  • Apocalypse Then! (The untold history of Coppola in the Philippines)