‘Fiat Lux’ asks us, again, to picture UC’s future

By Barry Bergman, Berkeley News | SEPTEMBER 25, 2012

“One could easily criticize the vision expressed by Ansel Adams and Nancy Newhall in Fiat Lux (and by UC President Clark Kerr, who hired them) as romantic, magisterial, monumental, idealized, modernist, masculine, Anglo-centric and utopian,” wrote Catherine Cole in February, “succumbing to many of the delusions and pathologies inherent in such epic, utopian projects.” That sort of response — not uncommon with Adams, best-known for his iconic, starkly formalistic images of California landscapes — is fine with Cole, a UC Berkeley professor of theater, dance and performance studies. Adams and Newhall’s 192-page effort to capture what Kerr termed “the prospective view of the university” on the eve of its 1968 centennial, she hopes, will spark a much-needed conversation about where the UC system is headed — and where it should be headed — in 2012, nearly a half-century later.

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