DOSSIER:
“My optimism is not necessarily for traditional institutions, it’s for the racialized artists out there making these demands—that right now there’s a sense of a deeper agency in shifting things.”
– Curator and OCADU Professor Andrea Fatona, on how Black Lives Matter has forced a reckoning in the cultural sector

Welcome to HOLO 2.5, the new digital arm of HOLO magazine! We don’t think it’s odd to be celebrating an in-between issue as HOLO is all about interstices: first between disciplines, now between mediums. Please take a look around; for more details on our new online home read the welcome note, linked below.
DOSSIER:
“TRANSFER is operating on a different timescale than most galleries trying to turn a profit to keep their doors open. The gallery exists to help bring artworks into the world, but our motivation is never around selling work in the short-term.”
– Gallerist Kelanie Nichole, on how focusing on emerging mediums is an exercise in patience and cultivation
UNINVITED brings to life a new being, born of the combination of surveillance data with the hallucinatory state experienced by many device systems when infected with a virus.”
– Beth Jochim, on Nye Thompson and UBERMORGEN’s “horror film for machine networks” exhibited at Furtherfield Gallery, London, and online

The Society For Non-Trivial Pursuits (S4NTP, affiliated with UdK Berlin’s Generative Art class) launches “Future Voices,” a one-year-long radio broadcast generated from people’s “hopes, fears, and dreams,” uploaded as audio recordings from around the world. Commissioned for Berlin’s CTM Festival, the project hopes to amplify “voices that would otherwise remain unheard within an attention economy that favours loudness, provocation, and conspiracy theories.”

“Twitter and Facebook and other platforms are now trying to put the genie back in the bottle. They could have done something long before, but they chickened out. And they created a monster.”
– Longtime Anti-Racist Canada blogger Kurt Phillips, on how the QAnon mythos that “the world is controlled by pedophile child-eating Satanists“ festered in Silicon Valley’s privatized echo chembers
OUT NOW:
Golan Levin & Tega Brain
Code as Creative Medium
A deep resource for teachers focused on the expressive potential of code, loaded with syllabi suggestions, road-tested assignemnts, and interviews with leading educators.
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“What distinguishes workmanship, craft, and making from industry is uncertainty. There’s a ‘risk’ in the process that resolves between the maker’s discernment and dexterity.”
Claire Hentschker, opening Art&&Code: Homemade, The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry’s online festival for exploring “new approaches to combining everyday materials, craft languages, and cutting-edge computational techniques”

“What if satellites were art?” Régine Debatty recounts her visit to “Unseen Stars,” Trevor Paglen’s (temporarily closed) solo exhibition at OGR Torino in Turin, Italy. Revisiting his spacefaring sculpture Orbital Reflector (2018), the show comprises a series of non-functional satellites Paglen designed together with aerospace engineers. Their featureless mirror-surfaces demonstrate what space exploration could look like if, as Debatty puts it, “it were not guided by nationalism, global surveillance, and industrial logics.”

“I hope to inspire people like me to use their skillset for political purposes—hacking is political.”
– Hacker donk_enby, on scraping more than 56.7 terabytes of data from the far-right social network Parler before Amazon Web Services, Google, and Apple pulled its plug. Instrumental in organizing the Jan 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the network’s data dump might help reconstruct the events, donk_enby explains: “I hope that it can be used to hold people accountable and to prevent more death.”

Visual artist David Shrigley “fucks all your devices” with unabashed tech cynicism (and rare earth metals)

DOSSIER:
“It’s important to move away from the idea of energy as a metaphor ‘tinged with virtue’ and towards a concept of energy as a ‘scientific entity’ with a material imprint. This, I would argue, is where artists come in.”
Chloe Stead, exploring “new ways of thinking about, valuing, and inhabiting energy systems” (as laid out by political scientist Cara New Daggett) and how artists may give shape to them

Inspired by how SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is used to ferment kombucha, MIT and Imperial College London researchers have produced several proof of concept living materials. Drawing on the flexibility of lab-grown yeast, Timothy Lu (MIT) and Tom Ellis (Imperial College) have produced microbe cultures that detect environmental pollutants, and glow in the dark when exposed to certain hues of light. “We foresee a future where diverse materials could be grown at home or in local production facilities, using biology rather than resource-intensive centralized manufacturing,” says Lu.

“What you’re offering by [encoding digital data as DNA] inside the cell is the machinery the cell has to protect its DNA.”
Harris Wang, system biologist at Columbia University, on successfully inserting binary code for “hello world!” into the DNA of living E. coli bacteria using CRISPR. In their paper, Wang and team claim that, compared to other DNA-based data-storage methods that rely on in vitro synthesis, in-cell encoding can maintain information over many generations in natural open environments.
“Best rendition of 4’33” yet”
– Sound artist Marc Weidenbaum, invoking John Cage’s 1952 silent composition as Twitter permanently suspends the account of (still) U.S. President Donald J. Trump
“I find virtual studio visits most successful when I get a tour of artists’ hard drives—having their desktop appear on my own creates an interesting new form of shared space.”
– Digital art curator Christiane Paul, on the merits of screen-sharing, PDFs, and personalized Zoom backgrounds in a survey conducted by Rea McNamara (that also includes Jeremy Bailey, Faith Holland, Skawennati, and others)