AI art and biohacks that ponder post-humanism, CGI fever dreams that (further) distort reality, software that speaks truth to power: HOLO Readers enjoy full access to our weird and wonderful discoveries at the nexus of art, science, technology, and culture. Join us and support indie publishing in the process.
“I’ve resigned myself to being a non-stop curmudgeon about this, but an aspect of Dall-E’s closed invite beta I haven’t seen touched on is how it’s enlisted artists to act as unpaid influencers for a company whose backers include Peter Thiel and Elon Musk”
– Comic artist Michael DeForge, observing that the prominent digital artists flooding our timelines with AI-generated images are doing free PR for OpenAI (and its odious investors)
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“The Byzantine Generals Problem,” a group show seeking consensus on crypto, opens at distant.gallery. Curated by Domenico Quaranta, the online exhibition features Sterling Crispin, Sarah Friend, Ben Grosser, Anna Ridler, and 10 others. Interrogative in tone, included works span Rhea Myers’ blockchain visualizations (2014-5), Kyle McDonald’s Ethereum carbon footprint calculations (2021), through a Web3 Dot Com Séance (2022, image) by Simon Denny and collaborators.

“The AI discovered a mechanism that redressed initial wealth imbalance, sanctioned free riders, and successfully won the majority vote.”
DeepMind researchers, studying policy innovation through AI. In a new paper, published in Nature Human Behaviour, the UK-based team reports on their “human-in-the-loop research pipeline called Democratic AI” that ran an online investment game with a thousand human players. “By optimizing for human preferences, Democratic AI offers a proof of concept for value-aligned policy innovation,” write the researchers.

Metaverse Petshop, artist duo Exonemo’s CGI puppy mill, opens at NowHere in NYC. Building on a May beta test, this version adds NFT functionality and complicates transactions. Purchasers of virtual pups are faced with an ethical dilemma: keep their ‘metaverse pet’ in its entirety or strip off its 3D texture map and sell it on OpenSea. “It is like catching an actual animal and processing its skin to make it live much longer than the original,” the duo (ominously) note.

“Compared with energy use, data center water consumption is much more behind-the-scenes, is much more controversial, and in some cases is considered a trade secret.”
David Mytton, former researcher at the Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy, on why the droughts in the American West could bring about a reckoning for the tech industry’s “secret water hogs”
Dossiers
General
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.

Encounters
AI art and biohacks, CGI fever dreams, software that speaks truth to power—join us and receive full access to HOLO’s daily discoveries in critical creative practice.
$40 / $75 / $350
Nora N. Khan assembles a cast of luminaries to consider the far-reaching implications of AI and computational culture.
$40
236 pages on artist-in-residence programs at scientific institutes, VR’s latent potential, and a deep dive into the extremely weird history of random number generation
$40
A BESTIARY OF THE ANTHROPOCENE is an illustrated compilation of hybrid creatures of our time, equally inspired by medieval bestiaries and observations of our damaged planet.
$35
The first three instalments of ‘anticipatory’ designers N O R M A L S eponymous graphic novel series delineates a dark and unsettling world of hyper-mediated futures.
$65
226 pages on an original digital art gallerist, the fascinating history of a powerful visual programming langauge, and an extended inquiry into how augmented vision is warping ‘seeing’ and ‘being seen’
$35

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.

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© 2022 HOLO V2.5.1 (beta)
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We produce:

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Over the last decade HOLO has curated more than 500 cultural initiatives worldwide

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