1985-90, 28 min, color, sound

Through a fluid visual and aural collage, TransmissionS explores the history of 20th-century communications, and probes the cultural and personal implications of technology's power to effect change. Through a fusion of allegory, documentary, science and autobiography, d'Agostino creates a trenchant, often poignant analysis of communications technology as both witness and catalyst to history. A quick succession of fragmented images — the Camera Obscura, Marconi's Wireless, Edison's early films, early television, mammoth radio telescopes — generates a virtual index of the evolution of communications technology. In the segment titled The Well, a human drama illustrates television's omniscience and its limits. A small boy is trapped in a well in Italy, and the nation, transfixed at its television sets, follows the futile rescue attempt. In a personal look at how technology encapsulates human experience, from birth to death, Generations draws on d'Agostino's own home movie footage. The tape ends in an explosive visual fragmentation that is a virtual catalogue of 20th-century technology.

Video/Audio/Editor: Peter d'Agostino. Music: Jon Gibson.