Not just anyone can gain access to MIT Laboratories, filled with gizmos like fusion and nuclear reactors. You really have to be someone to have permission to photograph the environments where research that spans the scientific spectrum is underway. 50 years ago, photographer Bernice Abbott was a one such somebody. She was capturing images to illustrate scientific textbooks, which resulted in two years of exploring and photographing labs at MIT.
As the anniversary of her work approached Gary Van Zante, curator at the MIT Museum, had an idea. Create an exhibit that juxtaposes two very different perspectives. Abbott’s artistic work would be paired with images of the same places taken by a practicing scientist.
He approached Daniel Jackson, an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and principal investigator at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He also happens to be an avid photographer. Jackson produced a series of photos as someone who knows the world of science research.
I haven’t see the full exhibit yet, but given a taste of Jackson’s work, and some scant knowledge of Abbot’s, I’m looking forward to it.
- via MIT News