Go with the flow: Studies in Fluid Mechanics video exhibit at Barker

Posted October 9th, 2007 by Ryan Gray

Fluid Mechanics

Come visit the video art installation of revamped films from the 1960s, Studies in Fluid Mechanics. The videos will be on display from Tuesday, October 09 through Friday, October 12 in the Barker Engineering Library Reading Room.

These videos were created by nine MIT students, instructors and staff. Their task was to use some of the raw footage from Barker Engineering Libraries’ collection of fluid mechanics film loops to create their own video art. Though this may not seem too difficult, the process proved to be a complicated one as they simultaneously learned how to convert film footage into finished videos using sophisticated digital editing software to digitize and edit the film, all the while thinking about how to creatively resuscitate footage that is almost 50 years old.

The film footage in question (Barker Media Collection, call # QC145.2.F5) consists of recently discarded 8mm films from Barker Engineering Library. In total, 148 films were created between 1961 and 1967 by members of National Committee for Fluid Mechanics Films, a group started by former MIT professor Ascher Shapiro in 1961. Ascher’s efforts revolutionized the teaching of fluid mechanics, and Barker Engineering Library continues to circulate these films as DVDs.

Comments and suggestions are welcome at the accompanying suggestion box, or email the Project Coordinator, Andrew Shea. More of Andrew’s work can be seen at his website.

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