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Stanford\, Calif. — Images by one of the nation's most influential photo graphers bear witness to the supercomputer industry in “Lee Fri edlander: The Cray Photographs.” The series\, rarely seen in its entirety\, includes 79 works by an artist lauded for his straight-forwa rd documentation of ordinary things. The exhibition opens at the Cantor Art s Center\, Stanford University on March 27 and continues on view through Ju ne 16.

In 1986 Cray Re search\, Inc.\, then the world’s top supercomputer producer\, invited Ameri can photographer Lee Friedlander (born 1934) to visit its worksite in Chipp ewa Falls\, Wisconsin and take photographs for a book marking Cray’s 15th a nniversary. This exhibition features the vintage gelatin silver prints in t he resulting set\, Cray at Chippewa Falls\, Wisconsin.

The Cray project was a logical ex tension of Friedlander’s past street photography and his scenes of people h ard at work in factories and data-entry centers. It includes a range of sub jects shot in Friedlander’s characteristic style: sober images of shop fron ts and empty streets\, views of the landscape and underbrush surrounding Ch ippewa Falls and close-up shots of workers. In many of the Cray photographs \, he focused on the women performing fine-motor tasks such as installing t he complex wiring inside a massive supercomputer. Interestingly\, Cray foun der Seymour Cray selected these women for their dexterity and talent in wea ving and other fabric crafts.

As a whole\, Friedlander’s photographs offer a complex and poignant portrait of the human\, artificial and environmental components that made Cray Research what it was in 1986. The images have great historical signifi cance as well. In 1996 Cray’s company merged with Silicon Graphics\, Inc. o f Mountain View\, California\; Silicon Graphics helped spark the rise of Si licon Valley and its radical transformation of global tech culture.

The set of works in the exhi bition is the partial and promised gift of Michael J. Levinthal (Stanford B S ’76\, MS ’77\, MBA ’81). The exhibition is made possible by support from the Levinthal Family\, given in memory of Elliot Levinthal\; the Betsy and Thomas Gates Fund for Photography\; Cray Inc.\; and Cantor Arts Center memb ers.

DTEND:20130616 DTSTAMP:20141217T234203 DTSTART:20130327 GEO:37.4329645;-122.1705594 LOCATION:Cantor Arts Center\,Stanford University 328 Lomita Dr.\nStanford\, CA 94305-5060 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Cray Photographs \, Lee Friedlander UID:265137 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130327T170000 DTSTAMP:20141217T234203 DTSTART:20130327T110000 GEO:37.4329645;-122.1705594 LOCATION:Cantor Arts Center\,Stanford University 328 Lomita Dr.\nStanford\, CA 94305-5060 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Cray Photographs \, Lee Friedlander UID:265138 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR