When Stan Brakhage was commissioned by artist Joseph Cornell to commit a document of New York City’s Third Avenue elevated train to celluloid before it was destroyed, the avant-garde filmmaker created his first silent piece, The Wonder Ring.

Ostensibly a study-of-light as observational cinema, it also serves as a work drawing connections from the real world to a particular filmic convention: the superimposition. Brakhage achieves this technique not through a post-production process, but rather by his simple observations of reflections in the railway cars’ windows.