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Orbital Obsessions

Documentation and experimentation in real time, Orbital Obsessions is an example of early video self-portraiture, eerie and calm in its radical implications for the medium. The Vasulkas were interested in the building of control systems for the manipulation of electronic signals, resulting in their collaborations with several designers and engineers. One such example was the Multi-Level Keyer, a tool designed in 1973 by George Brown at the request of the Vasulkas, who were interested in expanding their range of source imagery. Steina’s manipulation of the image through keying, layering, and the manual control of luminance is seen here. (1977, 24 minutes)