More Better Things to do with Slides

Our latest Architecture Masters Thesis presentations made use of some big-time visual technologies. Rather than print miles of color images to cover 30 linear feet of wall space, several students opted to project their presentations, using a rear projection system and a 12 foot wide screen, multiple flat panel TVs, or in most cases, a combination of both.

An Architecture Thesis student presents using rear projection on a 12 foot screen as well as 3 flat panel TVs connected to a computer.

As part of the ritual of graduating, these same students and their colleagues in the Urban Studies and Planning, Historic Preservation and Real Estate Development programs must put on an exhibit in our Kibel Gallery. And design the layout of said exhibit. It was suggested that the students do something ‘high-tech’ since so many presentations had used technology in the method.

No problem for this crowd. They set themselves some parameters – it shouldn’t take long to set-up, and it shouldn’t cost much either. In other words, they were Done with school already. Solution? Old School slides and some slide projectors. First, they laser cut the titles for graduation exhibit into the slide film.

Laser cut title in a slide.

Next, set up the projectors to project onto the wall surface in the gallery.

The slide projectors project titles through the glass.

The slide projectors project titles through the glass.

People walking by temporarily interrupt the titles before entering the gallery. Low budget, minimal time, looks good! Stop by on a weekday, if you are in the area.

What should I do with my old slides?

Here in the Visual Resources Collection we are taking an inventory of everything in the room.

We have LCD projectors, slide projectors, cameras, video cameras, light sets, some books and travel guides; even film cameras of the Nikon variety.

However, the slides, slides, slides, are what I have in the most quantity.  Now, slides are small, so it takes alot of them to take up any amount of space – we have at least 265 drawers full of slides. As part of the stocktaking, the Graduate Assistants are looking at boxes of slides, drawers of slides, scans of slides. We have your pink variety, your purply-orange variety, your overexposed and your really dark variety.  Then there are the fabulously colored Fujichrome and Kodachrome slides of trips from around the world that our professors and students have shared with us over the years.  Records of moments in time, a particularly sunny day, a freshly painted facade, a brand new structure or a really old structure.  Images that document not only an architecture, but a city, a style of car or hairdo, caught on the film chip.

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

The challenge for me and my student assistants is to decide what stays and what goes.  What is relevant to the School’s mission, and what is just taking up space. Is this slide primary source material or outdated copywork from a book that has been re-issued and updated umpteen times since that slide was taken? For slides that are going to go, here is a beautiful and useful project: Curtains. Or maybe a handbag would be nice.

I plan to post more lovely pictures as we continue with the collection assessment.