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Bookmarks and Milestones: An Annual Report (of Sorts)

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By publishing (and many other) standards, HOLO just took its
first steps. Yet nine months after the magazine’s launch, we look back
and can’t believe how far we’ve come. What happened? Here’s
a stocktaking, a travelogue, and a teaser.

 

The middle of December is a somewhat special time for us. Two years ago this past Monday, the Kickstarter campaign that funded this magazine came to a triumphant close and one year ago yesterday we revealed the first extensive preview of our inaugural issue. It would take another few months before HOLO 1 eventually emerged from the presses in April. And it’s been quite a ride ever since. From the post-launch thrills of witnessing the magazine arrive around the world, to touring festivals all summer, to being nearly sold out as 2014 winds down—CAN’s print magazine had a pretty great year.

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 ↑ Every delivery of HOLO 1 so far (status: Dec 12)

812 Cities and Counting

Bhopal (India), Dhahran (Saudi Arabia), Montevideo (Uruguay)—when looking at nine months of shipping data geographically, it’s easy to see why the more remote destinations we get to send HOLO to are particularly exciting for us. Not only does it confirm that our community is a truly global one, it also shows exciting activity far from some of the more overexposed hotbeds. So far we have delivered our magazine to 812 cities and 56 countries—and we are adding blue dots to the above map every day. Not included (but equally important) is the growing number of leading magazine and specialty booksellers around the world that now carry HOLO. From Foyles’ flagship Charing Cross location and the V&A Shop in London, to ARTBOOK @ MoMA PS1 and McNally Jackson in New York, to Mag Nation’s shops throughout Australia and New Zealand, we now have 25 stockists in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region—see our website for a complete list.

Launch of the Year

As the magazine continues to turn up in homes, studios, and stores worldwide, so does the good news. Two weeks ago, we were thrilled to be voted the ‘Magazine Launch of the Year’ at Printout in London (a surprise that came to us via our own Filip Visnjic’s event broadcast in our always-on team chat software Slack). Earlier this fall, HOLO was one of twenty selected publications displayed within magCulture’s 620 Reading Room, a pop-up tea room at Vitsoe’s Central London showroom during London Design Festival (the companion publication magmagmag also included an interview with our editorial team). Finally, our first issue was recently named a jury selection for the upcoming 18th Japan Media Arts Festival—domo arigato gozaimashita!

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 ↑ Images courtesy of CoffeeTableMags.com, magCulture, and Art4D.Asia

“I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say that HOLO magazine is itself a work of art … In an era when many mainstream art magazines produce something that could easily fit into a satchel or handbag, HOLO sits on the table like a portable gallery space.”

— Mark Hancock, Furtherfield (Sep 28, 2014)

We’re still very proud of the initial wave of praise from the likes of We Make Money Not Art, PAGE, and It’s Nice That, and the endorsements keep coming in. HOLO 1 was just listed as one of ‘2014’s best reads for netizens’ by the National Post, it received a glowing review on Furtherfield earlier this fall, and nods from Thailand’s Art4D.Asia magazine and Italy’s leading online coolhunters at Frizzifrizzi. We were also summarized as “heavyweight in scope and literally” on Monocle’s publishing Podcast “The Stack”, as well as charted as one of ‘15 Beautiful And Fascinating Independent Magazines You Need To Read’ on BuzzFeed. Wow!

“An ArtForum for the Tumblr-addled … HOLO’s provenance is stranger still because
its small print run inadvertently replicates art’s chief currency: scarcity.”

— Anshuman Iddamsetty, The National Post (Dec 9, 2014)

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 ↑ Images courtesy of Indiemags.de, MIGZ, and retune.de

On the Road

After launch celebrations in NYC (Eyebeam) and Toronto (InterAccess) in early summer, we took our magazine on the road. In June, HOLO co-presented a series of ‘encounters’ that saw Editor-in-Chief Greg J. Smith in conversation with audiovisual artists Alain Thibault and Matthew Biederman, and Paul Prudence at EM15 (the anniversary edition of MUTEK and Elektra) in Montrèal. In September, Creative Director Alexander Scholz headed to Hamburg to ruminate on ‘Was ist indie?’ (“What is indie?”) with fellow magazine publishers like Kai Brach (Offscreen), Kati Krause (Winter), and Oliver Gehrs (DUMMY) at Indiecon 2014. Later that month he was joined by Filip for Retune in Berlin, where the duo offered an oblique view into our day-to-day operations and (occasionally citing some of our more boisterous online conversations) discussed how, for us, web and print reflect one another (after all, the festival’s theme was ‘Inside the Mirror’). In October, our team had the privilege to co-curate the Education Program at Moscow’s Circle of Light Festival as well as host a series of panels featuring influential voices such as Els Vermag (LAb[au]), Christopher Bauder (WhiteVoid), Chris Bird (d3), Joreg (vvvv), Markus Heckmann (Derivative), and Michael Badics (Ars Eletronica). And just last week, Alex presented our online and offline activities as one of several ‘best practices’ within the ‘Kultur 4.0 – Now Loading?’ symposium at the esteemed ZKM Center for Media and Technology in Karlsruhe.

Looking ahead, our 2015 calendar is already filling up: CAN and HOLO will be participating in Internet Age Media Weekend in Barcelona in March and NODE15 Forum for Digital Arts in Frankfurt in late April.

Here We Go Again

Speaking of 2015: for us, the first highlight of the new year will be the announcement of HOLO 2. Outside of touring festivals and feeding CAN, we’ve been incredibly busy developing ideas, researching stories, and visiting artists—and we couldn’t be more excited about what we have in store! Hopefully you’ll share our enthusiasm, when we reveal the details in January.

Happy Holidays!

For all of you who simply haven’t gotten around to pick up a copy of HOLO 1 yet (better hurry, we’re 80% sold out!) we’ve decided to end a great year with a great deal: starting today and up until the end of December 31st, every order (including subscriptions, t-shirts and N O R M A L S’ graphic novel) is 25% off! Simply use the code ‘ITWASAGREATYEAR’ on checkout and the discount will be applied—thank you for 2014, happy holidays and a HOLO new year!

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Of course, 2014 had its humbling moments as well: the business side of running a magazine remains a challenge, so does being a small team with limited resources managing contributors scattered around the world. Truth be told, we’re still several milestones (and ‘bookmarks’) away from where we’d like to be. Then again, this is only our first issue. And we’ve gotten pretty good at figuring things out as we go along. Thank you all for your fantastic support!

PS: Once again, we’d like to thank our great partners for helping to make HOLO 1 possible!

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Filed under: HOLO

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Berlin-based designer and writer contemplating art, science, and technology as creative director of HOLO magazine and contributing editor at CreativeApplications.Net.