Hic et Nunc (HEN) founder Rafael Lima pulls the plug on the popular ‘indie’ NFT marketplace, following what some allege were heated discussions on the community’s Discord channel. First, the website disappeared, then the market’s smart contract was posted to the official Twitter page. Launched in March on the low-cost, low-carbon Tezos chain, HEN became an instant artist favourite (esp. in the Global South) and just recently celebrated 500,000 minted NFTs.
We’ve stated it here before but it bears repeating: the most exciting part of reimagining HOLO 3 as the first of many HOLO Annuals was making room for other people’s ideas. It sounds cliché, but working closely with and handing control over to guest editor Nora N. Khan and her research partner Peli Grietzer helps us see this magazine and what it can be with fresh eyes. The same is true, of course, for the many new contributors, all interdisciplinary luminaries in their own right. Quite frankly, HOLO 3—the Annual—is a magazine that we, previously, couldn’t make. And that’s amazing!
But there’s also continuity. With so many new hands shaping the new edition, it felt right to bring back a few former collaborators without whom HOLO wouldn’t be the publication it is today. There’s trusted Andrew Wilmot, for example, a Canadian artist and author who expertly copyedited and proofread HOLO 1 and 2. We’re also thrilled to be working with the same Berlin-based art book printer, now called Druckhaus Sportflieger, that produced the previous editions. And where would we be without our distributor of many years: OML, part of the indie publishing hub Heftwerk, is gearing up to ship HOLO 3.
Yet, few collaborators have been more instrumental to HOLO’s distinction than Jan Spading and Oliver Griep of the Hamburg-based design studio zmyk. Over the years, they’ve laid out and obsessed over literally hundreds of HOLO pages and it is thanks to them, their experience, instincts, and diligence, that issue 1 and 2 made such a mark. So when HOLO 3—the Annual—came into vision, we had to invite them back. Over the past several months, the two accomplished art directors have been busy developing a new design language that speaks to and advances the Annual’s vision. With the print date nearing, we asked Jan and Oliver to share some insight into the design logic and development process (without giving too much away).
Regularly listed among Germany’s top design studios, the team of Jan Spading and Oliver Griep otherwise known as zmyk specializes in crafting cutting-edge books and magazines. Over the years, the two award-winning art directors have shaped signature publications such as DUMMY, fluter, and Frankfurter Rundschau and authored printed matter for clients such as Ostkreuz, brand eins Verlag, and Universal Music. Trivia: zmyk was founded in 2013, making HOLO one of the studio’s first imprints. (photo: Heinrich Holtgreve)
With Pink Cell Tower, artist and critical engineer Julian Oliver erects “Germany’s first cell tower for the Commons” at Skulpturenpark Berlin. The solar-powered and autonomous piece of ‘extroverted infrastructure’—it’s designed to be seen—is framed by Oliver as an act of reclamation in an otherwise completely privatised EM space. “Calls and texts across the network are free and pro-public,” the former Berlin resident writes on Twitter. In short: “No plans, no tracking, no monitoring.”
Translating Spectroscopy data of young stars into generative LED animations, British artist duo Semiconductor premieres a series of Spectral Constellations at Mills Observatory in Dundee, Scotland, as part of NEoN Festival. In using the European Southern Observatory’s spectral data archive “as a physical material,” Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt imagine distant clusters of dust and gas as “rings of light which resemble the gradiated discs of planetary and stellar formations.”
NINE, a mini-version of media artist Martin Bricelj Baraga and electronic musician Olaf Bender’s installation Neunundneunzig (2015) opens at Berlin’s panke.gallery. Riffing on the 1984 German new wave hit “99 Luftballons,” viewers position themselves under a matrix of black balloons which gradually inflate, inducing claustrophobia. Further animated by stroboscopic light and Bender’s percing sound design, the resulting environment is a “dark field where sound, light, and objects inhale, exhale and pulsate.”
An exhibition (and symposium) curated by the head of ECAL’s photography department, Milo Keller, “Automated Photography” opens at Espaces Commines as part of the Paris Photo fair. Reflecting on the school’s eponymous research project, works by 12 prominent digital artists including Nora Al-Badri, Simone C Niquille, and Alan Warburton explore contemporary image-making technologies such as machine learning, CGI, and photogrammetry, asking timely questions about the automation of creation.
Keller, Gunti, Amoser
Arno Beck’s not one to let a good pun go to waste: with “Don’t Put All Your Becks In One Basket,” the Bonn-based postdigital artist shows a new series of pen plotter drawings at Schierke Seinecke in Frankfurt, Germany; his third solo show with the gallery. The drawings, colourful bursts of pixels and compression artifacts that reference videogames and image processing software from the 1980s and ’90s, are presented ‘sitting’ in iconified shopping carts Beck drew on the gallery wall—one Beck per basket.
Providing a powerful visual for what’s at stake at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, Irish artist John Gerrard’s latest simulation Flare (Oceania) 2021 debuts on a large-scale LED wall at the University of Glasgow South Facade. Created in response to a statement from Tongan artist and activist Uili Lousi, whose ancestral ocean is heating due to CO2 emissions elsewhere on the planet, Flare echoes Gerrard’s past software works that “fly the flag of our own self-destruction.”