Leaving the 20th Century

1982, 10:17 min, color, sound

Leaving the 20th Century is a compelling science fiction narrative of televisual time-travel via the electronic circuit and computer chip. Almy dramatizes a three-part transition—countdown, departure, arrival—to a technological future, foreclosed and dehumanized. The stylized visuals and ironic humor ("She left because there was nothing good on television...") belie the poignancy of Almy's vision. Applying computer graphics and digital effects to critique the manipulative, mediating effects of technology, Almy simulates the hyper-reality of a futuristic "landscape with no detail or points of reference," a space without perspective or point of view. No longer seduced by television or spectacle, the subjects depart and are transported as objects, arriving at a place where human relations and communication fail, transmission is terminated, the message is not received.

Editor: Jim Haygood. Music: Gregory Jones. With: Susanne Nessim, Glen Scantlebury, Max Almy.