New photography exhibit in Rotch Library: Riverscapes

A new exhibit in Rotch Library:

Riverscapes: and exhibition of photographs of historical water landscapes, by Adriana de Miranda.

An opening reception will take place from 5:30 PM until 7:00 PM on November 25, 2008.

The “hydraulic noria” represents the most elegant of hydraulic devices. It is a water-wheel which, using the power of the river, raises water to irrigate fields which are at a higher level than the level of the water. The system is composed of a vertical wheel and an aqueduct. The base of the wheel is submerged in the river and turns because of the current. Water is carried to the top of the wheel and is poured into the channel on the top of the aqueduct, and is directed to irrigate the surrounding fields. Hydraulic norias provide environmental and economic advantages, as well as those of safety. As a clean technology they allow irrigation requiring no petrol or oil, but fully exploiting the power of the river, as an economical device they are built using materials found in the area and have a simple assembly; they are also efficient and have low operational and maintenance costs.

The hydraulic noria, whose earliest evidence dates back to at least the Ist century B.C., is widespread in Syria on the Orontes river, but it still exists today in other parts of the Mediterranean basin, in East Asia and Central America where its technology has not changed. Particularly the Syrian and Chinese devices successfully combine the functional with the aesthetic and display sophisticated forms of construction.

They are visually impressive, present shapes which are the results of an accurate and detailed design and are of great historical, environmental and iconographical importance. These installations were devised as architectural constructions whose design is not only intended to be functional, but also aesthetic. They also show an architecture which has been able to combine essentiality and simplicity, necessary for integration into the landscape, and an architectural shape whose geometric construction is based on schemes of symmetry, modularity and harmony.

This exhibit will be on display from November 25, 2008 until December 16, 2008.