HOLO 2 – Aftermath

About a year ago, HOLO 2 came rolling off the press. Twelve months of shipping magazines, reading reviews, and touring festivals later, the jury is in. Facts, figures, voices—and a tease:

A year is an eternity on the internet. Even at their most inspiring (or troubling), news has an average lifespan of a few days or weeks—at most. The release of a magazine is no different. Twelve months ago, in November 2016, we were frantically preparing the launch of HOLO 2 (some of you will remember the flurry of updates during the last leg of production). We were officially “out now!” on November 23rd and, thanks to your warm welcome, our distribution hub worked overtime to ship thousands of magazines in the first few weeks alone. When the buzz around the long anticipated release simmered down however, a new and arguably more interesting chapter began. It’s not a stretch to say that, as copies started arriving at homes, studios, and institutions around the world (see the distribution map below), the magazine took on a life of its own. From what we’ve seen online and first-hand, it now shares desks with exciting new projects in the making and shelves with esteemed classics at bookshops, galleries, art centers, and museums; it drives conversations at meet-ups, festivals, and universities; and the wider it circulates the more people outside of our immediate community it touches—be it in a documentary on “Ethics for Design,” a prestigious recognition amongst general audience publications, or CERN’s very own library. As with so many things we cover here: the CAN post is a mere starting point. It’s when a project, be it a new piece of art or a publication, begins feeding back into the ‘system’, that its impact can be felt.

As we hit the release’s anniversary, about 80% of our HOLO 2 stock is sold (no small feat for any independent publication!) and development of HOLO 3 is underway. To mark the occasion, we’ve skimmed our records for facts and figures to share with you here. Thank you for what has likely been HOLO’s busiest year yet!

Facts and figures:
59 countries, 1,080 cities, 12 months
of distribution data

The top five continents, countries, and cities we shipped HOLO 2 to (left), their ratio (middle), and total share among all deliveries (right):

Highs and lows: HOLO 2 production (black) and distribution (green)
data in not-so-random numbers:

6.2 tonnes

Total weight of paper
(at 100g/m²)

182 litres

Total volume of ink
(CMYK, Pantone 3275)

32 hours

Total printing time
(Heidelberg press)

15 years

Average age of trees
used for paper

0.9 °C

Coldest (daily mean):
Rovaniemi, Finland

28.09 °C

Hottest (daily mean):
Dubai, Arab Emirates

18,142 km

Farthest (from Berlin):
Wellington, N. Zealand

316 km²

Smallest island:
Malta (Mediterranean)


Rovaniemi, Finland


Mt Cook, New Zealand

24 Million

Most populated:
Shanghai, China


Least populated:
Jundiá, Brazil

↑ We <3 spotting #holomagazine on social media. Keep the shelfies coming!

“John von Neumann said ‘anyone who attempts to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin.’ HOLO 2 is a state of bliss; enabling the generation and habitation of environments that are seriously playful, nostalgically avant-garde, and wondrously real. A time capsule transcending the notion of time, space and style, it occupies the delightfully outlandish space where Beethoven’s late quartets are played on faraway moons, between the lived and the lyrical.”

↳ Neri Oxman, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab

Bylines and cameos

HOLO 2 has been called many things: “A nice balance between the right and left brain” (FvF Journal), “encyclopedia-like” (MagCulture), “complex, genius, carefully paced” (Stack), a testament to “care and quality” (neural), even “one of the most interesting art magazines” (Jitter in what has to be the most thorough review ever). Less overt endorsements: Patrick Tanguay’s invitation to chat magazine-making and peer-learning at We Seek or Gauthier Roussilhe’s—highly recommended—documentary Ethics for Design. Jump to minute 2:16 for a cameo of our ‘Cryptoclock’, the P(aper)RNG that comes with HOLO 2.

“HOLO is an essential tool for taking the pulse of the media art and digital design space. I love how it pays equal attention to emerging creators, established names, and forgotten pioneers. No other publication offers a better portrait of the different generations of artists, designers and thinkers that have expanded the aesthetic frontiers of digital technologies.”

↳ Jose Luis de Vincente, curator Sónar+D

Nailed it!

In March, much to our surprise, a friend sent us a photo of HOLO 2 at the 2017 ADC (Art Directors Club) Award exhibition in Hamburg, Germany. As it turned out, our magazine had been nominated for ‘best issue’ in what is arguably Germany’s most prestigious design prize. A few days later, the news broke: HOLO 2 had won bronze alongside Zeit Magazin and DUMMY, two of Germany’s finest. We’re so honoured! Thank you and congrats to zmyk’s Jan Spading and Oliver Griep, who art directed both HOLO 1 and 2! The trophy: a bonze nail—presumably because we hit it on the head.

“HOLO is an extraordinary platform for debate and dialogue. Its beautifully designed pages offer a broad overview of what is vital in art, science, and technology, and it reveals the experimentation in studios, labs, and the many spaces in between. It challenges us by blurring the lines between fields of knowledge and smartly scans culture from a interdisciplinary perspective.”

↳ Mónica Bello, Head of Arts at CERN

Out and about

HOLO 2 has taken us on quite the trip. Many of our favourite festivals have invited us to develop programming, present our project, or simply wanted HOLO on hand for attendees to browse and buy. A concise travelogue: last spring we gave a talk about our publishing activities at Mirage (Lyon), discuss the future with Taschen’s Julius Wiedemann and Recens Paper’s Elise By Olsen and Morteza Vaseghi at IAM Weekend (Barcelona); unpack the complexities of computational culture with leading curators and critics Nora O Murchú, Régine Debatty, and Sabine Himmelsbach at Mapping’s Forum Digital Shifts (Geneva), and brought HOLO with us to FIBER (Amsterdam); summer saw us present alongside MoMA and the V&A at ELEKTRA’s International Marketplace for Digital Art (Montreal), chat eccentric engineering with American artist Tega Brain at NODE Forum for Digital Art (Frankfurt), weigh approaches and aesthetics with audiovisual performers Myriam Bleau and Sculpture at MUTEK (Montreal), and frame interdisciplinary practice alongside design luminaries at POST Design Festival (Copenhagen); and the fall has been just as busy—scores of copies of HOLO were ordered for the V&A’s Digital Design Weekend (London) and TodaysArt (The Hague), and we just gave a presentation at Carnegie Mellon University’s Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry (Pittsburgh).

↑ Talks, encounters, conversations: team HOLO toured more than a dozen festivals this year.

“HOLO provides the most thoughtful overview of our milieu—and beyond!”

↳ Joachim Sauter, Founder & Design Director ART+COM

New shelf life

In addition to our trusted selection of book and magazine shops that carry HOLO (see the growing by-country stockist index here), our second issue has made it onto the shelves of galleries, museums, and institutions near and dear to our heart: you can now pick us up at DAM GALLERY in Berlin, HeK House of Electronic Arts in Basel, MuDA (Museum of Digital Art) in Zürich, the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and, depending on the exhibition, at London’s V&A. HOLO has also been added to the official CERN Library in Geneva and will soon be available at the SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art).

“HOLO is not just a print magazine—it’s an object and archive. A document that links discourse about technologies past, present, and future, through a narrative that allows us to pause and consider digital culture in a new way.”

↳ Nora O’ Murchú, curator and researcher

HOLO 3—A tease

To end this recap with a quick look ahead: we’re happy to report that the HOLO 3 development is well underway. Our feature artists have been selected, briefings are being written, and the issue’s central research theme couldn’t be more HOLO. Three hints: we learn it through imitation when we’re young, we can inscribe our thoughts with it so that they reverberate long after we’re gone, we can even use it to make machines do our bidding. Once again, the best and brightest will aid our investigation. But before we reveal names and plot points in the new year, we have another goodie in store—2018 can’t come soon enough!

You all had a part in this: thanks to our readers for their sustained enthusiasm and support; to our partners for collaborations big and small, to the many festivals that hosted us this year, and to our contributors—for making HOLO 2 the magazine it is in the first place.

Order HOLO 2 and 3 and get $10 off

Order now for Christmas reading: HOLO 2 ships from Berlin and takes 5-10 business days within the EU, 2-3 weeks to North America, and 2-5 weeks to the rest of the world. Please place your holiday order(s) accordingly. Thank you and happy holidays!

Gifting HOLO is easy: When ordering make sure to use the ‘Special instructions for seller’ field (before checkout) to let us know your purchase is a gift. Ensure you provide the full name, mailing address, and phone number (in case of delivery problems) of the recipient. Alternatively, email us at orders@holo-magazine.com (please mention your order number) with these details.