Demaines Screening First Art Film Tomorrow

Demaines Screening First Art Film Tomorrow
Photo: Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine
Lino Tagliapietra as seen in Erik and Martin Demaine's film on his work.
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From October 18-22, 2010, glass maestro Lino Tagliapietra and his team worked at MIT’s Glass Lab, melding colorful pieces of glass into sculptures as intricately patterned as a butterfly’s wing. Professor Erik Demaine and CSAIL Visiting Scientist Martin Demaine document Tagliapietra’s visit to MIT in their debut art film Lino Tagliapietra: Glass Magician.

The film will be screened tomorrow evening (Wednesday, April 6) from 6:00- 7:00 p.m. in 6-120, along with Bert Haanstra's Glas, and excerpts from the PBS documentary Time of Lino.

Set to the music of Antonio Vivaldi, the film feels like a performance, with scenes of each sculpture growing and transforming paired in harmony with the strains of string instruments. The movie is a voyage through the glass blowing process, providing a peek at Tagliapietra and his team, who have worked together for over 12 years.

“It’s not a typical documentary - it doesn’t have a narrative, not an explicit one,” said Prof. Demaine. “We were trying to not be educational and instead more artistic.”

Prof. Demaine explained that he and his father were initially approached by Tagliapietra and asked to create a film documenting his visit to MIT. Being that it was their first time working behind the camera, the two found the experience challenging, but also rewarding. Father and son worked together throughout the entire process, and “made a good team,” according to Prof. Demaine.

The film premiered in February in Venice, and will be shown everywhere from MIT to Sweden over the next few months.

Prof. Demaine hopes to pursue filmmaking further in the future, and to one day create a feature-length film. Currently, the Demaines have commissioned a composer to create an original score for the Tagliapietra film in an effort to make a “stand alone art piece with new music,” explained Prof. Demaine.

Tagliapietra will return to MIT this coming fall to collaborate with the Demaines on a new glass blowing project. According to Prof. Demaine, they will be working on developing ways “to use algorithms to design new glass forms.”

For more on Lino Tagliapietra: Glass Magician, visit

Abby Abazorius, CSAIL