Richard Ehrlich

Richard Ehrlich
Title: Powell
Medium: Epson Archival Inkjet Print. 2015

Until around 2004, art history courses were taught using 35 mm slides organized in slide libraries.

Faculty would hand-pick each slide to show in their lectures, place them in a slide carousel and project them onto a screen in class. Afterward, each carousel would be returned to the library and staff would refile each slide one by one.

After 2004, as analog slides were superseded by digital images, slide collections were phased out, including the one at UCLA that closed in 2013. As the space it formerly occupied was being converted into a classroom, Richard Ehrlich, the creator of this piece, took possession of roughly 3,000 images to create this image. If you look closely, you will see slides of architectural plans and an anatomical drawing by Leonardo da Vinci.

The two most iconic buildings on the UCLA campus are Royce Hall and Powell Library. The image of Royce Hall in the entry lobby was created using a 19th-century-style photographic method with the intention of looking back in time.

In contrast, this image of Powell Library was compiled digitally with the intention of looking forward.