Switch! Monitor! Drift! (1976)

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Steina's Switch! Monitor! Drift! is an unexpected mediation on the ability of video to represent the world. At first, the image looks like a camera panning, with a narrow strip revealing what's behind the wall. Slowly the image in this narrow strip changes and this hypothesis about the nature of the image is no longer tenable. To discover the image, the viewer must first uncover the technology. Steina has set up two video cameras, one that's mounted to a rotating pedestal and the other pointed at the first. Using a process of an undetermined nature, part of the image from the second camera is "spliced" into the image from the first. This creates a remarkable reality effect where, since the image presents a united front, it appears to be whole, the world is rendered as a fractured totality. Along with Dan Sandin's Triangle in Front of Square in Front of Circle, this is one of the more important overlooked films that significantly demonstrate how the video medium can alter reality.