“What if, instead, we turned the annual publishing cycle into a research method, one that looks beyond a single topic and more at the state of things at large?”
Diagram:

How the 2021
“HOLO Annual”
will come
together

If anything, this production diary is a testament to just how much our thinking around print evolves with our online publishing. Take HOLO 3’s rejiggered framework, for example: in the previous entry, we argued that “the more we leverage this expanded online space for interviews, commentary, and news, the further future print editions can lean into a single unifying theme.” Energized by this new editorial architecture—see the aforementioned entry for fancy flow charts—we were eager to “dig deep into a pressing topic.” We hit a wall, instead: how can we pick a single theme with so many simultaneous urgencies? What’s the longevity of a timely research topic in light of mutating global crises and rapidly evolving tech? And, when examined within a thematic framework, wouldn’t AI, blockchains, the climate collapse (and a host of other forces shaping culture) yield a different periodical each year? That got us thinking.

What if, instead, we turned the annual publishing cycle into a research method, one that looks beyond a single topic and more at the state of things at large? Perhaps, this… Annual could bring together a wide range of luminaries to comment on ‘emerging trajectories’ across an expanse of entangled fields? Offering a yearly reality check, they could help us parse the present moment and better understand what lies ahead. We were intrigued!

But who’d get to be in this illustrious circle? In the past, we prided ourselves in carefully matching topics and contributors rather than soliciting ideas through open calls. It yielded the cohesiveness and journalistic flavour that, we’d argue, readers have come to appreciate about our magazine. But there’s something to be said about openness and making room for perspectives other than our own. Ten years into running HOLO in the same (fixed) configuration, it was high time for new and different voices to lead the way.

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