Fiat Lux Redux: Take Five

The Take Five project is a series of 25 short videos created as part of the exhibition Fiat Lux Redux: Ansel Adams and Clark Kerr.

In 1964, Clark Kerr, President of the University of California, commissioned Adams to produce a visionary portrait of the nine campuses and dozens of research stations of the UC system, in anticipation of its centennial year in 1968. Over the next three years, Adams travelled the state and shot over 6700 images. After his lifelong devotion to Yosemite, it was probably his biggest project.

The release of the large-format book, Fiat Lux, was eclipsed by Kerr’s removal from office by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1967.

For the documentary project, faculty and students of UC Berkeley were asked to select and discuss five images from the book, in light of history, the intervening years, and the present moment. 15 of the short videos are derived from these interviews, another 4 use excerpts from interviews with Adams about the commission, and 3 are visual explorations of specific images.

Ansel Adams
on the commission

Alan Ross
on Adams’ darkroom work

Michael  Pollen
on agriculture in California

Adams’ Zone System
in Joshua Tree

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