ArtIdeas and EngineeringMIT

2fast4u is the largest High Speed Photography Exhibition in the world


Daniel and Bob

Daniel Pressl and Bob Edgerton giving a speech at the opening of 2fast4u in Wolfsberg, Austria (April, 2007).


“This time it is not the Sound of Music, but the sound of light bulbs shattering and Micro-flashes going off!”


2fast4u is a collaboration between the Edgerton Center at MIT (, Daniel Pressl, Alec Resnick, Omari Stephens, Mohamed Haji, Nicolas LaCasse from MIT, students from two schools in Austria (Stiftsgymnasium St. Paul and the HTL Wolfsberg), the Edgerton Explorit Center in Aurora, NE ( , Bob Edgerton, the son of Harold Edgerton, inventor and pioneer in the field, Martin Waugh (, Loren Winters (, and many more.

“First, 2fast4u was an idea and now it has grown to collaboration across the Atlantic Ocean!” ~ DI Daniel G Pressl, Founder of 2fast4u and current grad student at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT.

2fast4u will present more than 100 photographs as well as a dozen interactive objects, thereby reaching the status of the worlds largest high speed photography exhibition!


Furthermore, 2fast4u is not “only” a high speed photography exhibition, but also an initiative for new education. Pioneered by Harold Edgerton, this photography, which combines science and art so beautifully, has inspired many students and people all over the world to look further and try to understand the unknown. It does not matter, if this is done by freezing the moment of a light bulb being shattered by the impact of a paintball or the equalizing of the frequencies of a motor and a strobotac flashing at the motor, to make the motor stop its motion to the eye of the observer;

“The main reason is always to explain something that could not be explained before and that is the essence of science”.

The exhibition 2fast4u will show around a dozen objects that students in Austria built and by that learnt, without knowing, very important concepts of physics and science. This interest is also followed by many professors across the globe by teaching high speed photography, such as Loren Winters at the N.C. School of Science and Math, Ken Schroeder, Director of the EdgertonExploritCenter in Nebraska, and Jim Bales and the EdgertonCenter at MIT and many more.

These practical objects are the interactive part of the exhibition that will bring the science and art even closer to the visitor. Among the objects is certainly Harold Edgertons famous “Piddler” device, which can freeze the motion of water droplets in a stream of water, to the eye of the observer. Furthermore, 2fast4u built an artificial room, which when entered serves to take a picture of every visitor while popping a balloon (see picture below).



The doors of the exhibition will be opened from the 30th of March until the 19th of April, 2007. Bob Edgerton, son of the inventor, will be in Austria and give an introduction at the opening on the 30th of March at 7pm Austrian time (1pm EST). The opening will be filmed and will be posted shortly after on the website of 2fast4u. Work is being done to facilitate a LIVE stream at the opening.

Pictures of Harold Edgerton will also be shown at the exhibition and that will be a first for Austria (see picture below).

Harold Edgerton

Self portrait with Balloon and bullet, 1959; Harold Edgerton. A demonstration of the ultra-high-speed flash of a micro second (1/1000000 of a second) freezing the bullet, the balloon and the inventor in time.

On Thursday, the 15th of March, 2007, at 5pm (EST) the office 35-406 (which has interestingly two huge blackboards, from the top of the door to the floor, on the sides of its entrance) of DI Daniel G Pressl transformed into a news room. There where three monitors, three cameras, two microphones, and two computers in use, simultaneously. In the middle Daniel Pressl, on the right Bob Edgerton (on a Monitor) in Seattle and on the left Jim Bales (Assistant Director of the EdgertonCenter at MIT). The “three” were viewed by a camera transferring the video to Austria, where a large audience gathered in the halls of the exhibition hall for 2fast4u in Wolfsberg. Seattle-MIT-Austria, that was a first for all participants and to “put the cherry on top”, Bob Edgerton and a team of 4 other musicians performed a classical music piece through the “MIT Studio” across the ocean. The mayor of Wolfsberg, many participants of the two schools, the Press, and lots of curious Austrians watched the show with excitement.

Another LIVE stream will be established on the 30th of March with the beginning of the exhibition. A first draft of the live feeds site can already be viewed on The opening of the exhibition will also be videotaped and available online as soon as possible at the end of this week (check for updates).


How can YOU enjoy the exhibition anywhere?

First, there will be booths in Lobby 10 and the StataCenter at MIT, where MIT students will be able to look at magnificent photographs that can freeze time better than any other photograph.

Second, the LIVE stream between all collaborators will feature 2 cameras at MIT, 2 cameras at the exhibition in Wolfsberg and one camera at each of the schools in Austria.

YOU, at MIT, will be able to communicate LIVE (with audio and video) with visitors at the exhibition in Austria and students at the two participating schools in Austria.
On you can find the view of the cameras that are mounted on the booths and you will be able to talk with the people at the booths, whether you are in Austria or America or anywhere in the world.

If you want to be on the video you should go to the website and see where the booth is at MIT and quickly run over! (The booths will be open at MIT, from the 2nd until the 19th of April, from 8:00am EST and close with the exhibition at 1:00pm EST (7pm Austrian time).


„At MIT we see things differently“.

Daniel Pressl in the Strobe Laboratory at the EdgertonCenter. March,2007.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Kommentar verfassen

Diese Website verwendet Akismet, um Spam zu reduzieren. Erfahre mehr darüber, wie deine Kommentardaten verarbeitet werden.