The title of The Semi-Circular Canals refers to the portion of the human ear that regulates balance. Viola constructed a platform on which he and the recording equipment counterbalanced one another, while freely suspended from a large tree. The artist appears to be sitting calmly at the center of the universe as the earth rotates. He writes, "The tape was inspired by NASA films and develops references to cosmological cycles, with the individual at the rotational center of their universe."
A newly arrived governor finds his province under the control of the corrupt Colonel Huerta. To avoid assassination by Huerta, he pretends to be weak and indecisive so Huerta will believe he poses no threat.
There is a war in the world between the men and the women. A young girl tries to escape this reality and comes to a hidden place where a strange unicorn lives with a family: Sister, Brother, many children and an old woman that never leaves her bed but stays in contact with the world through her radio.