Excerpt from The Exposed Uncanny:
Peter Tscherkassky's Outer Space begins with flickering images of a house enveloped in darkness. Static sounds of a spinning record without music mimics a flurry of shadows as Hershey’s character appears in front of her house. The mutilated soundtrack begins with apprehensive steps toward her home. Once familiar and safe, the space in which she lives has become alien and threatening. The soundtrack crackles and distorts as she enters through the door, down the hall toward the interior of her bedroom, the scene of the phantasmal rapes.
Tscherkassky doubles the room by superimposing image upon image. The dim light source whose origin is unknown, flickers as a fire would, casting shadows across the frame, fragmenting the filmic space. Hershey’s character appears in what looks like a dream world where images and sounds are abstracted and narrative is obliterated. The film reveals her face in multiplicity. She is divided by a penumbra of menace; her eyes dart around the room, and her hands nervously yet gracefully fumble through the air as if in search of an anchor in this precarious dream-space.
The camera is fixed upon her figure as she cautiously moves about her bedroom. In a crescendo of machine sounds, images of her face proliferate and in the quickening pace of repetition, a violent storm comes through her room. Mirrors and windows shatter, furniture swirls around her, and in this optical tornado, pieces of the film – the edge of the negative and its sprocket holes -- become part of the assaulting imagery. In this fierce storm of sound, shadow, and light, Hershey’s character –- the image of her –- is erased. The picture goes white and becomes pure exposed film. It is as if she has become absorbed by light, yet we perceive her continued existence in the sound of her enduring screams. It is unclear whether Tscherkassky’s Outer Space offers a new kind of in-between subjectivity or if Hershey’s character remains erased, stuck, forever flattened to film. Or perhaps this image represents a kind of inversion. She has become the entity; her image has dissipated; she is invisible yet omnipresent. Hershey’s character becomes a figure of the uncanny: she has transformed from a sexual object into a monstrous one.