Just outside the Architecture Department on the 5th floor of the Diana Center is a new video installation featuring short films created at the IMATS Media Center at Barnard Library.
In Fall 2012, Architecture Professor Madeline Schwartzman received technical support from IMATS for a Special Topics class entitled Design=Time: Conceptualizing Architecture, Narrative and Site Through Video, in which students explored how cinematic structure could be applied to represent the way spaces are used and inhabited.
The students produced two projects: (1) a stop motion animation project using drawings constructed with tape, within the landscape of New York City, and animated to tell the story of a historical university figure; (2) a two-minute bifurcated documentary video - one minute depicting a portrait of a contemporary Columbia personality, and another minute treating their "space" as a subject. The class met for several sessions in IMATS' Student Editing Suite on the Library's 3rd floor, where students received training in Final Cut Pro editing software, and devoted hours to screening, critiquing, and revising their work. Technical sessions were team taught by Professor Schwartzman and Miriam Neptune, an IMATS Instructional Media Specialist.
Schwartzman, an adjunct professor in Architecture at Barnard as well as Parsons School of Design, says "IMATS is an incredible resource, with skilled and artistic media specialists and wonderful equipment. This was fantastic and productive collaboration. The architecture students were amazed at how flexible video is, and how quickly they could portray their spatial ideas in that medium. Through this medium, the students branched out of the classroom and met so many brilliant and articulate faculty members and campus characters, visiting spaces across the campus."
Benita Trenk '13, an Architecture major, enjoyed working with a different set of visual tools. "This is the first time film has been offered within the Architecture department...The two media are more closely related than people might think. Both film and architecture deal with issues of space, lighting, and time, and, when paired together they begin to inform one another."
A viewing station in the Diana 5th floor hallway displays the videos on a loop. The installation will be up for the duration of February, alongside other senior projects in Architecture. "I am very enthusiastic about seeing our video work in the same exhibition space with other projects in the department," says Trenk, whose project "Rudi AM - PM, Rudi: PM - AM" portrays the rhythmic interactions between an access attendant and the residents of Sulzberger Hall.