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The Shape of Light, a moving image work by Ellen Pau created especially for the media façade of newly-opened M+ museum, opens in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District. Co-commissioned with Art Basel, the short film deploys the Buddhist Heart Sutra’s rumination on form and emptiness in a CGI narrative about elemental transformation. With the film, Pau offers “a gesture of guidance and hope” for her native city’s citizens, presumably alluding to their steadily eroding self-governance.

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“Earth Indices: Processing the Anthropocene,” a show by Giulia Bruno & Armin Linke working in consultation with the Anthropocene Working Group, opens at Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW). Foregrounding imagery that translates evidence of the earth’s transformation into “data that can be interpreted” (image: Line Scans of Antarctica Ice Core, 2022), the show reveals the “instruments, procedures, and practices” that produce geological knowledge, write the curators.

“I think of this as a monument that has been purpose-built to be torn down. It shouldn’t be the job of artists to save the planet, but sometimes we can create social and conceptual infrastructure to guide attention and action.”
– American artist Kyle McDonald, on his new cryptoart piece Amends, that seeks to offset the climate footprint of three major Ethereum-based NFT marketplaces once—if ever—the cryptocurrency switches to the less energy-intensive proof-of-stake consensum mechanism
DOSSIER:
In her latest entry to “Weaving Variations,” HOLO’s dossier on generative art pioneer Vera Molnar, art historian Zsofi Valyi-Nagy examines Hommage à Barbaud, a 1974 tribute to the French founder of algorithmic music, Pierre Barbaud. “By dedicating a work to Barbaud, Molnar immortalizes the impact of algorithmic music on her work, and on early computer art more broadly,” writes Valyi-Nagy.
“I’m starting to accept that the 1995-2020 period didn’t happen, and that generative art emerged out of nothingness in 2020 after being dormant for 40-50 years. People keep telling me, so it must be true.”
– Digital artist Marius Watz, decrying widespread amnesia in this current moment of generative (crypto) art. A big reason is “very bad discoverability,” notes fellow aughties innovator Karsten Schmidt. Due to link rot and software obsolescence, most works done in Director, Flash, Processing, and Java in that era are “GONE.”
Dossiers
General
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.

Encounters
Become a HOLO Reader: order the annual print edition and get full access to everything we publish online for a year
$20 / $35 / $250
A BESTIARY OF THE ANTHROPOCENE is an illustrated compilation of hybrid creatures of our time, equally inspired by medieval bestiaries and observations of our damaged planet.
$35
236 pages on artist-in-residence programs at scientific institutes, VR’s latent potential, and a deep dive into the extremely weird history of random number generation
$35
The first three instalments of ‘anticipatory’ designers N O R M A L S eponymous graphic novel series delineates a dark and unsettling world of hyper-mediated futures.
$65
226 pages on an original digital art gallerist, the fascinating history of a powerful visual programming langauge, and an extended inquiry into how augmented vision is warping ‘seeing’ and ‘being seen’
$35

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:

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

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