Welcome to HOLO 2.5, the new digital arm of HOLO magazine! We don’t think it’s odd to be celebrating an in-between issue as HOLO is all about interstices: first between disciplines, now between mediums. Please take a look around; for more details on our new online home read the welcome note, linked below.
“It really started as a joke… I didn’t understand the game mechanics and how realistic the in-game lava and fire were, so my house burned down.”
– Jorge Juan B. Wieneke V (aka similar objects), on the 2019 origins of Club Matryoshka, a Minecraft-hosted “home for underground and unorthodox music mutants” run by Manila-based musicians that blossomed during the pandemic

Light artist Christopher Bauder teases the construction of DARK MATTER, a permanent home for seven of his iconic kinetic light sculptures, including Polygon Playground (2008), Grid (2013), and Inverse, a new site-specific piece. Built across from Bauder’s studio in East Berlin, the 1,000 square-meter “world of light, space, and sound” is set to open in 2021 and will be equal parts admission-funded exhibition space and research laboratory.

“The networks that determine artistic success are largely invisible to practitioners—even insiders see only specific segments of it. We relied on big data to map these networks out and remarkably, we find artistic success highly predictable.”
Albert-László Barabási, physicist and network researcher at BarabásiLab, on The Art Network, a data visualization that is part of the lab’s upcoming retrospective “Hidden Patterns: The Language of Network” at ZKM Karlsruhe [quote edited]

While many express outrage over the environmental impact of Non-Fungible Token (NFT) -based art, Memo Akten shows you the receipts. Building on an impassioned Twitter thread and Medium post, Akten has created a web app that calculates the ecological cost of tracking sales and bids on the blockchain for individual pieces of art distributed through SuperRare. Fire up the site, a random artwork is selected, and you’ll see its environmental impact as measured in number of flights or weeks of an average EU resident’s electricity consumption.

“TRANSFER is operating on a different timescale than most galleries trying to turn a profit to keep their doors open. The gallery exists to help bring artworks into the world, but our motivation is never around selling work in the short-term.”
– Gallerist Kelanie Nichole, on how focusing on emerging mediums is an exercise in patience and cultivation
In Progress
Matthew Braga explores prosperity and precarity for the artists and cultural workers whose true value will never be measured in dollars.

The Digital Economies Reader builds on the Digital Economies Lab, a year-long exploration of the wonders and anguish of making art and culture in the twenty-first century organized by Ottawa’s Artengine.

Lead Writer
Matthew Braga

Izzie Colpitts-Campbell
Julie Gendron
Lee Jones
Suzanne Kite
Emmanuel Madan
Tim Maughan
Jerrold McGrath
Kofi Oduro
Kalli Retzepi
Macy Siu

Type Treatments
Tim Rodenbröker

Artengine Team
Ryan Stec
Remco Volmer
Kseniya Tsoy

Steering Committee
Jeremy Bailey
Sarah Brin
Jen Hunter

Artengine is an Ottawa-based artist-run centre that brings together artists, designers, technologists and researchers to explore the social impacts of emerging technologies through collaborative learning and production.

The Digital Economies Lab (DEL) is a year-long exploration of the wonders and anguish of making art and culture in the twenty-first century. Drawing on in-depth research, dialogue with experts, engagement with the public and media arts professionals, DEL’s residents are producing prototypes and proposals for increasing sustainability and resilience in the creative sector.

© 2021 HOLO

In Progress
Chloe Stead delves into production, energy, and kinship futures of the world after fossil fuels and zombie capitalism.

Life … After the Crash accompanies “POST GROWTH,” the DISNOVATION.ORG curated exhibition that “challenges dominant narratives of growth and progress,” showing at Brussel’s iMAL through January 2021.

© 2021 HOLO

In Progress
This …
Isn’t Even My Final Form
Due in summer 2021, the next print edition of HOLO will be a different beast. Follow the transformation via production notes, research snippets, and B-roll material.

This … Isn’t Even My Final Form documents the making of a magazine, from our studios to your screen. Rejigging formats, shaping stories, crafting the issue’s identity—this is the place to track HOLO 3’s evolution.

© 2021 HOLO

Coming Soon
Tim Maughan pens dark fiction challenging the unquestioning optimism and lazy headline writing of mainstream science and technology journalism.

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? is an extension of HOLO’s curatorial contribution to Digital Cultures 2020, an annual festival in Warsaw organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

A new HOLO format, Dossiers are web-based research publications that contextualize and expand upon cultural initiatives in real-time

Dossiers are dedicated HOLO folios that augment and complement exhibitions, residencies, conferences, and educational initiatives. Realised in collaboration with artists, writers, curators, and cultural partners, they are designed to document process and disseminate knowledge through a variety of engaging formats—essays, interviews, artwork—all within a focused online magazine. If you’re interested in working with us on a Dossier, please get in touch via our Contact page.

Emerging trajectories in art, science, and technology (since 2012)

As an editorial and curatorial platform, HOLO explores disciplinary interstices and entangled knowledge as epicentres of critical creative practice, radical imagination, research, and activism

“I feel the language and concepts I’m working with don’t comfortably fit within the normal discourse about art and aesthetics. CERN’s physicists and engineers understood the tools I was using and I was able to talk about my goals. I just couldn’t have that kind of dialogue in an art context.”—sound artist Bill Fontana on his CERN residency (HOLO 2, p.206)

There is a space between a computer’s command line interface and the contemporary art museum, the legalese of Silicon Valley’s terms and conditions and the social contract, the whoosh of a particle accelerator and the romanticized “a ha” of artistic inspiration. For much of the twentieth century these gaps were chasms, separating science and engineering from the humanities and siloing them off; today, these gaps are narrowing and disciplinary interstices are the spaces to watch. Increasingly aware of how much technology governs not only entrenched fields of study but every aspect of modern life, we’ve come to realise that things are deeply intertwined.

HOLO emerged in 2012 to explore these entanglements—first with a periodical, now across an expanded platform. Set up in the grey zones between art, science, and technology, it frames scientific research and emerging technologies as being more than sites of invention and innovation—as epicentres of critical creative practice, radical imagination, and activism. The artists and designers working with related materials—algorithms and microcontrollers, meteoroids and fungi, data and archives—aren’t just updating notions of craft for the twenty-first century, they are researchers and cultural critics.

As an editorial and curatorial platform, HOLO occupies the same eccentric vantage points as these hybrid creative practices and puts them into perspective. Working across multiple avenues—print and online, events and production—HOLO collaborates with contributors and cultural partners to facilitate fruitful dialogue between domains and bring new voices into the conversation.

Selected collaborators:

© 2021 HOLO V2.5 (beta)

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Toronto, Canada
M6R 3B5

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Over the last decade HOLO has curated more than 500 cultural initiatives worldwide

Selected partners:

Circle of LightRU
Digital CulturesPL
IAM WeekendES