For the fifth edition of Unfolding the Archives, the Flanders Architecture Institute presents a selection of diapositives from its collection. Some 35,000 slides – depicting architectural practice in all its facets – were digitised as part of a special project in 2021. The interactive exhibition Diarama allows visitors to make their own changing slide collages.
Photographs are an integral part of the many architectural archives held by the Flanders Architecture Institute. Whilst these often take the form of prints, we receive just as many negatives and slides. These types of photographs are fragile, hard to handle and can only be consulted using gloves and a lightbox. Thanks to the recent digitisation project, a multitude of images from these hidden collections can now be accessed.
The images in Diarama show architectural practice in all its facets, as seen through the eyes of those in the field. Architects do much more than just design buildings. The images also form a record of field trips, for example. By looking at the world, architects broaden their horizons and translate these experiences into their work. Many images have a documentary aspect. They record construction processes, important events, or were utilised in lectures or restoration projects. Finally, the slides also explore artistic ambitions: with a conscious photographic eye, architects not only record their own work on film, but also that of fellow architects and artists.
To do justice to this diversity, Diarama presents images from a wide range of architectural archives:
Unfolding the Archives #5 Diarama is an interactive exhibition. The selection of slides was printed on a magnetic carrier and can easily be moved on the wall. Get to work yourself and put together your collage with the images that inspire you.
The diapositive digitisation project is part of a larger initiative called Van de lichtbak af [No more lightboxes]. Thanks to a Flemish Government grant, the Flanders Architecture Institute is placing artificial intelligence under the microscope. How can we use computers to register and unlock large collections of digital images? And how do we give meaning to the labels assigned to the slides through image recognition software? The research is in full swing and will continue until February 2023.
De Singel (Expoplein)
Flanders Architecture Institute and De Singel
In the Unfolding the Archives series, the Flanders Architecture Institute exhibits major pieces, hidden treasures and striking discoveries from its collection. It enriches contemporary architectural themes with a historical dimension, shows newly acquired archives to visitors for the first time, or elucidates prominent figures or moments from architectural history.