Want to dig deeper into disciplinary interstices and entangled knowledge? Join an international community of artists, designers, cultural workers, and educators by becoming a HOLO Reader. You’ll receive the annual print edition and get full access to everything we publish online for a year.
“Talking about building this city beside a volcano is like thinking you are rich because you live next to a bank.”
Ricardo Navarro, El Salvadoran ecologist and head of the country’s Center of Appropriate Technology (CESTA), on President Nayib Bukele’s plans for a “Bitcoin City” powered by volcanoes. “Geothermal still costs more than oil, otherwise we would already be using more of it,” Navarro notes. Geothermal energy also needs steam and groundwater, Navarro adds, “but we already have problems with not enough water in El Salvador.”

Clemenger BBDO and University of Tasmania researchers announce the construction of Earth’s Black Box, a steel monolith filled with solar-powered tech for documenting the planetary crisis. “If the Earth does crash as a result of climate change, this indestructible recording device will be there for whoever’s left to learn from that,” states Clemenger BBDO’s Jim Curtis. Due for completion on the west coast of Tasmania in 2022, data collection has already begun.

“The revival of pixel art may be a quest for the kind of variety and texture that massive social-media networks have gradually banished, a harkening back to a messier, more human moment in our digital lives.”
– Writer Kyle Chayka, parsing the current wave of digital nostalgia as seen in MySpace clones, Neopet preservationism, retro videogames, and, recently, NFTs

Danja Vasiliev announces that Vending Private Network (2018), an artwork he created with fellow critical engineer Julian Oliver, was banned from display at Moscow’s soon-to-open Cryptography Museum. The installation sets up a virtual private network (VPN) as publicly funded infrastructure (taking cues from condom vending machines). A way around government censorship and surveillance, VPNs are deemed illegal by the Russian state, Vasiliev explains on Twitter.

“This is the case of someone that thinks they’re just messing around on a computer but is actually changing the world. These days AI is a lot of people insisting that they’re changing the world while really just fooling around on a computer.”
Os Keyes, PhD student at the University of Washington’s Department of Human Centred Design & Engineering, on the 1983 American Cold War classic WarGames
Coming Soon

Tim Maughan pens dark fiction challenging the unquestioning optimism and lazy headline writing of mainstream science and technology journalism.
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.

Become a HOLO Reader: order the annual print edition and get full access to everything we publish online for a year
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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.
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
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.
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’

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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