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.
“He knew as little as I did about how to make the computer draw. But he trusted me, his student. Throughout my academic career, I tried to follow Prof. Knödel’s example—trusting students rather than mistrusting them. Isn’t this what teaching is all about?”
Frieder Nake, on the 1963 assignment that got him into making computer art—writing software for the University of Stuttgart’s brand-new drawing machine, the Zuse Z64 Graphomat [quote edited]
The New Normal
Emerging from a 3-year research program initiated by Moscow’s Strelka Institute, editors Benjamin H. Bratton, Nicolay Boyadjiev, Nick Axel, and a host of collaborators consider the impact of planetary-scale computation on urban futures.
“I believe this is definitely by John.”
David Zwirner, gallerist of American Minimalist John McCracken (1934-2011), on the mysterious monolith discovered in remote southern Utah. McCracken was best known for his plinth-like reflective sculptures that he frequently likened to something that an alien visitor might leave behind on earth.
Algorithmic production has the potential to “free overworked and underpaid artists to pursue the aspects of their art that are most enjoyable, creative, or personally fulfilling.” Beyond the expected skepticism, Matthew Braga considers the nuances of automation, and draws on recent projects by writer Robin Sloan and musician Holly Herndon to illustrate how it might aid and augment beleaguered and spread-too-thin creatives.
“Like all technologies, light reflects larger expressions of power, carving up an architecture of visibility that shapes how lives are led at night, providing shelter for some and harmful exposure for others.”
Lauren Collee, on the politics of public lighting—from the street lanterns of 17th century Paris to the networked lampposts of the smart city
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.

© 2020 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.

© 2020 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.

© 2020 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:

© 2020 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
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