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.
001 – Note: New Beginnings (05/09/2020)
“The magazine had become a research vessel, encouraging all aboard—artists, designers, writers—to explore disciplinary interstices through experimentation and collaboration. Thus far, we filled two hefty compendiums that each mark a point in time.”
Labyrinthine TXT “3” featuring words from Harold Cohen’s paper “What is an image?” (1975) is a generative type experiment by NaN.

Ten years ago, right around this time, the first outlines of a yet to be named print magazine were being sketched—counter-intuitively so, as the first iPad had just been released and digital publishing was all the rage. But this new imprint would also be a misfit in other ways: neither art, design, science, nor a technology magazine, it was conceived to be a hybrid, something in between—a magazine about disciplinary interstices and emergent creative practices that are neither here nor there. (…) It should be smart, thorough, and beautiful. Above all, it should have a lot of heart—a media arts periodical for the rest of us.

Ten thousand copies later, I’m still amazed at how HOLO resonated. MIT’s Neri Oxman called it as a “time capsule occupying a space where Beethoven’s late quartets are played on far-away moons.” To Sónar+D Jose Luis de Vincente it was an “essential tool,” to transmediale’s Nora O’Murchu “an archive that links the past, present, and future.” Over the years, HOLO visited the studios of interdisciplinary luminaries such as Ryoichi Kurokawa, Vera Molnar, David OReilly, and Katie Paterson; it featured essays by the likes of James Bridle, Georgina Voss, and Geoff Manaugh; and brilliant artists added Choose-your-own-adventure games and DIY random number generators for good measure. In short: the magazine had become a research vessel, (something something new shores and collaboration). Thus far, we filled two hefty compendiums that each mark a point in time.

Spring 2014: team HOLO (Greg J. Smith, Alexander Scholz, Sherry Kennedy, Filip Visnjic) ready to launch issue 1 at EYEBEAM Art and Technology Center in New York City (photo taken by Daniel Dorsa)

“In our next issue, the lion’s share of the pages will be dedicated to the magazine’s research section—rigorous investigations that have always been at HOLO’s heart.”
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HOLO 3 will follow in that same tradition. But it will also break new ground—it has to. Similar to how the first issue was inspired by what we felt was missing then in the blog and art publishing sphere, the next one will have to meaningfully respond to the contemporary media landscape. HOLO 2.5—this very website—is an important step in that direction. It’s the online home we long felt the magazine needed, a contextual framework that will situate and pave the way to HOLO 3.

In our next issue, the lion’s share of the pages will be dedicated to the magazine’s research section, PERSPECTIVE—rigorous investigations that have always been at HOLO’s heart. Other sections will become more dynamic and move faster by transitioning online (STREAM being one of them). This recalibration of our editorial activities—sustained focus on the one hand, new agility on the other—will allow us to bring you more HOLO content more frequently. Most importantly, it will make HOLO 3 a better magazine.

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll share production notes, research snippets, b-roll material, and the occasional ‘blooper’ in this development diary. After all, a lot of work has been done already and you can’t make a magazine without breaking a few eggs. (…) And to our subscribers: we have something special in store for you—watch your inbox, you’ll be hearing from us soon.

This dossier is in progress. Please check back for further entries.

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