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AI art and biohacks that ponder posthumanism, CGI fever dreams that (further) distort reality, software that speaks truth to power: HOLO explores critical creative practice that emerges between art, science, technology, and society—a space of radical imagination where new ideas and cultural paradigms are born. Join us for daily discoveries by becoming a HOLO Reader.
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Every year, HOLO issues a special collector’s edition that captures the calendar year in print. Collectors receive it automatically with free shipping in the first quarter of the following year. E.g. if you join before 10/10/2022 you will receive the collector’s edition in early 2023.

The Archives (2014–2020)

Adding the content from HOLO’s past print editions—essays, artist profiles, illustrated fiction—online is currently in progress. Readers can expect to have access to the majority of HOLO’s archival pieces by the end of 2022.

AI Model Predicts Warming that Shatters Climate Targets

“We’re using this very powerful tool that is able to take information and integrate it in a way that no human mind is able to do, for better or for worse.”
– Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, on using machine learning to model anthropocentric warming. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, his team shows that the AI predicts we’ll blast past agreed-upon climate thresholds. As Brown University researcher Kim Cobb put it: “This paper may be the beginning of the end of the 1.5C target.”

Rhea Myers Tokenizes Ego (and Brainwaves) at Nagel Draxler’s Crypto Kiosk

Rhea Myers’ solo exhibition “The Ego, and It’s 0wned” opens at Nagel Draxler’s Crypto Kiosk in Berlin, offering blockchain-based “symbolic forms” that ponder property, representation, identity, and secrecy. In the titular piece (2023), for example, the British artist and hacker tokenizes her brain wave recordings while Type Opposite Images (2023, image) reverses colourful Vaporwave tropes. Also on view: new NFT editions of iconic Ethereum works that Myers created in 2014.

Peter Behrbohm and Markus Bühler’s “The Technate” Reenacts Technocratic Road Trip from 1947

“The Technate,” an exhibition by Peter Behrbohm and Markus Bühler that “follows the wires” of North American internet infrastructure, opens at Berlin’s Sharing their eponymous research project (2023, image), which reenacts a 1947 road trip from California to British Columbia, promoting the technocracy movement. In it, the duo cosplay as technicians (with a robot dog), and visit technoculture hotspots including Internet Archive and Noisebridge.

Kevin Roose Imagines Legless Donald Trump Roaming the Metaverse, after Former President’s Meta Accounts Reinstated

“A legless Donald Trump, just wandering the empty streets of Horizon Worlds, selling commemorative coins.”
New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose, imagining the sad combination of Trump and the metaverse, in the aftermath of Meta reinstating the former U.S. President’s Facebook and Instagram accounts after a two-year ban

Alternative-Art-History Simulator or Lava Lamp? Critic Digs into Refik Anadol’s AI Hallucinations at MoMA

“What Unsupervised insinuates, is that art history is just a bunch of random visual tics to be permuted, rather than an archive of symbol-making practices with social meanings.”
– Critic Ben Davis, demystifying Refik Anadol’s AI “alternative-art-history simulator” on view at MoMA. “The effect is pleasant—like an extremely intelligent lava lamp,” Davis writes. “What it is not is anything like what MoMA says it is: an experience that ‘reimagines the history of modern art and dreams about what might have been.’”

Björn Schülke’s Spacefaring “Cosmos” Blends “Action and Reaction, Surveillance and Performance”

“Cosmos,” a survey of kinetic and interactive sculptures by Björn Schülke blending “action and reaction, surveillance and performance,” opens at bitforms gallery San Francisco. Included are spacecraft- and rover-inspired assemblies, vision machines, a maquette of his Norman Y. Mineta San José Airport sculpture (2010), and sound art (image: Supersonic #3, 2007). Also featured: the German artist’s first olfactory sculpture, which emits a scent created for NASA that smells like space.

New Study Shows Major Scientific Breakthroughs Are (Increasingly) Few and Far Between

“The whole apparatus has become extremely conservative in trying to encourage accountability and concrete results. We don’t want to do blue sky research.”
– Science journalist William J. Broad, distilling the findings of “Papers and Patents Are Becoming Less Disruptive over Time,” a recent Nature study by Michael Park, Erin Leahey, and Russell J. Funk that quantifies how scientific leaps forward are occurring less frequently with each passing decade

LuYang Conjures “Vibratory Field” of Techno-Psychedelia and Digital Grotesque at Kunsthalle Basel

LuYang’s first solo exhibition in Switzerland, “LuYang Vibratory Field,” opens at Kunsthalle Basel. One of the most comprehensive surveys of the Shanghai-born artist’s work from the last decade, the show spawns entire universes from the “engrossing, fantastical, and sometimes grotesque techno-psychedelic videos, installations, and computer games” on view. In them, LuYang tackles major issues: life, death, reincarnation, and even global destruction.

Bruno Latour Called on Ecological Class for Post-Socialist Imaginaries, Political Theorist Says

“In his final book he argues that a new ‘ecological class’ must be assembled to replace the productivist working class of past socialist imaginaries; a class determined not by one’s position relative to the means of production but one’s position in a set of earthly interdependencies.”
– Political theorist Alyssa Battistoni, on late French philosopher Bruno Latour’s turn to climate politics and his often vexed relationship with the left

Kyriaki Goni Shares Her “Data Garden” and Demonstrates How Plant DNA Links Communities across Space and Time

“Data Garden,” an exhibition by Kyriaki Goni, opens at Blenheim Walk Gallery in Leeds, UK. In it, the Greek artist presents her eponymous ongoing series (image), which uses CGI and sculpture to chronicle Saxifraga depressa and Micromeria acropolitana, plant species native to the Dolomites mountain range and the Acropolis. Presenting plant DNA as a communication protocol that links communities, Goni centres “deep time, geological transformations, and plant history.”

Kelly Richardson, Nicholas Sassoon & Rick Silva Foreground Geological “REVENANTS”

“REVENANTS,” a show featuring Kelly Richardson, Nicholas Sassoon & Rick Silva, opens at the Rectangle artist-run space in Brussels. Addressing notions of scale and the geological, Richardson’s Origin Stories (2023) zooms in on the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and Sassoon’s lava rock-inspired The Prophet (Tanaga 1) (2023, image) evokes what exhibition essayist Alexandra Crouwers describes as “the unimaginable turmoil that is in a constant grind beneath our feet.”

Laura Splan Destabilizes Common Perceptions of Craft and Value

“I’m always trying to destabilize not only the perception of whether something is made by hand or machine but also destabilize how we assign value once we know.”
– American artist Laura Splan, on her commitment to a hands-on process of computation. “I very much insist that anything I do on the computer is done ‘by hand,’ whether writing code, unfolding proteins, or manipulating vector waveforms with a stylus pen,” she tells writer Anna Mikaela Ekstrand.

Nick Cave Tells Songwriting ChatGPT ‘Don’t Quit Your Day Job’

“What makes a great song great is not its close resemblance to a recognizable work. Writing a good song is not mimicry, or replication, or pastiche, it is the opposite. It is an act of self-murder that destroys all one has strived to produce in the past.”
– Singer-songwriter Nick Cave, expressing revulsion at the lyrics of a song written by ChatGPT ‘in the style of Nick Cave.’ “Data doesn’t suffer. ChatGPT has no inner being, it has been nowhere, it has endured nothing,” he concludes.

Caroline Monnet Is “Holding up the Sky” with Anishinaabe Sacred Geometry and Industrial Materials

“Holding Up The Sky,” a solo show by Caroline Monnet, opens at the Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB) in Ontario, Canada. Foregrounding her interests in indigenous geometry and the figure of the cube (image: It Cracks with Light, 2021), the Franco-Anishinaabe artist presents The Room (2023), a 3 square metre assembly of inscribed styrofoam. The installation, and another made of PVC pipes and conduits, rebukes “prescriptive colonial architecture … the urge to square and compartmentalize.“

ExxonMobil Knew Full Extent of Global Warming Since late 1970s, Researchers Say

“Our analysis shows that ExxonMobil’s own data contradicted its public statements, which included exaggerating uncertainties, criticizing climate models, mythologizing global cooling, and feigning ignorance about human-caused global warming.”
– A team of American and German researchers, delivering proof that the oil giant predicted global warming “correctly and skillfully” since the late 1970s

You Don’t Want to Be Too Successful on Planet Earth, Director of New Fungal Apocalypse TV Drama Says

”I’m not an anti-progress, back-to-the-Stone-Age guy. But we must regulate ourselves or something will come and regulate us against our will.”
– American screenwriter and film director Craig Mazin, on the fungal apocalypse at the heart of his new HBO videogame adaption The Last of Us (2023): fuelled by climate change, highly parasitic Cordyceps infect the world’s population. “I think the thread underneath it is: You don’t want to be too successful on planet Earth,” Magzin says.

Marco Barotti’s Data-Driven Bestiary of Wifi Antennas and Satellite Dishes Defies Obsolescence

Marco Barotti‘s solo exhibition “Rituals of Wasted Technology” opens at silent green, Berlin, presenting two mythical techno-species in defiance of obsolescence: As tower-mounted APES (recycled Wi-Fi sector antennas) perform ”quasi-rituals” from data input—Facebook likes, Google searches, tinder swipes—SWANS (used satellite dishes) float about, propelled by sound. Barotti’s show is part of “Speaking to Ancestors,” a two-year series on ritual curated by Pauline Doutreluingne and Keumhwa Kim.

Kickstarter Co-founder Yancey Strickler Maps Creativity after Platform Capitalism

Creative economy thinker and entrepreneur Yancey Strickler shares his vision for metalabels, a new model for cultural production “like indie record labels for all forms of creative output.” Following a release proof-of-concept (a ‘record’ in his nomenclature), the Kickstarter co-founder maps creativity after platform capitalism. It entails a move away from lone creator-entrepreneurs to teams, protocol-driven compensation and ownership, and audiences that prioritize context over ‘content.’

$40 USD