Here we go again! 226 pages are laid out, polished, and ready to go to press. Let’s take a tour before we do.
“It’s like wading through molasses,” a fellow publisher once described the process of wrapping up a magazine. And sure enough, the HOLO 2 homestretch was long and tedious. In the months following our ‘Illustrated Countdown’, every big item checked off our to-do list (making a photo shoot happen or getting an essay underway) gave way to a world of details in need of locking down (tangential research, image captions, the flow of individual lines of text). And typically, for every problem solved, another two pop up. Needless to say, it feels surreal when you suddenly run out of things to fix. And we are excited to report that we just have. Once again, 226 pages (plus a whimsical ‘Paper Random Number Generator’ that comes with every copy of the magazine) are laid out, polished, and ready to go to press. There are a few more steps to be taken before we do though: our paper mills have to deliver several tonnes of stock (we are introducing a secondary paper stock in this issue!), binding and cover treatment have to be assessed, and extensive test prints have to be run. Those critical ‘post editorial’ measures will require a little more patience from you and us (HOLO 2 will go to press in the first week of February). In the meantime, we’d love to show you around.
↑ Time piece in full bleed glory: Jürg Lehni’s Flood Fill – Clock (2009)
Ryoichi Kurokawa, Vera Molnar, Jürg Lehni, Tale of Tales, Timo Arnall, Katie Paterson, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Our first stop are the studios and workspaces of seven extraordinary artists and designers whose work continues to shape how we perceive the world. The sound-proof chamber Ryoichi Kurokawa tunes his compositions out of in Berlin, the secluded Paris backyard studio 91 year old digital art pioneer Vera Molnar calls home, the spacious production facilities of Canada’s foremost media art export Rafael Lozano-Hemmer in Montréal – our team of writers and photographers uncovered projects-in-the-making, career trajectories, and life stories. To learn just a little more about each of our protagonists, see the first HOLO 2 announcement Back to the (not-so-distant) future we shared in February.
↑ Pop-up gallery: Jürg Lehni’s Viktor, Ryoichi Kurokawa’s Scentless,
Timo Arnall’s Ghost in the field, Tale of Tales’ Sunset
IF / THEN An investigation of chance, causality, and prediction
With Casey Reas, Paul Prudence, Michelle Kasprzak, Scott Aaronson, Daniel Rourke, Mitchell Whitelaw, Scott Smith, Coralie Gourguechon, and many others
A colourful collage of ideas, voices, and opinions, the issue’s centrepiece is our thematic inquiry into randomness. To help us tackle a perplexing paradox we’ve enlisted an exquisite cast of thinkers, researchers, and practitioners. As luminaries such as renowned software artist Casey Reas, critical futures specialist Scott Smith, or theoretical computer scientist (and randomness expert) Scott Aaronson chime in, the conversation connects turning points in world history, breakthroughs in mathematics and computation, cognitive biases and perception, and the extreme limits of human knowledge. For an extensive breakdown of the section and some in-production views, check out the ‘Illustrated Countdown’ we shared in June.
3. Sites and spaces
Arts & Labs: Residencies at Scientific Institutions
As artistic and scientific modes of production continue to cross-pollinate, there are number of key sites where the disciplines meet face to face. Design and anthropology researcher Georgina Voss investigates the recent emergence of residency programs at scientific institutes alongside CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, SETI’s radio telescopes, and the Smithsonian Institution’s network of archives. Engaging these programs’ directors and participating artists, she looks at the logic driving these initiatives and the payoff – for all parties involved.
4. Tools in the making
Oculus Rift: Mixed Reality Experiences
Virtual Reality is here to stay – and yet so far away. BLDGBLOG author Geoff Manaugh weighs in on the headset that triggered the medium’s current gold rush on the eve of its release. From its (not so) humble start on Kickstarter to being acquired by Facebook, the Oculus Rift not only inspired numerous competitors but a wave of creative developments as well. In search of VR’s true potential, Manaugh looks to those headset realities that forgo imposing solitude in favour of heightening our connection with the world.
A magazine cover ‘bred’ by Karsten Schmidt
1,756,115 digits collected via user input ↓ A genetic programming system ↓ Crystalline maps of “human generated randomness”
A number of you will have had a hand in this: to capture our thematic inquiry on the cover, London-based computational designer and this issue’s guest artist Karsten Schmidt called upon our readers to collectively generate ‘randomness’ online. Via his web app rnd.farm visitors could gesture, swipe, or key tap to add to a stream of human-generated random numbers. A total of 1,756,115 digits were collected and then fed into a genetic programming system built with Clojure. Out came dynamically created geometric fields of interlocking crystalline patterns that mutated, evolved, and grew with subsequent ‘generations’ of refinement. Only the ‘most fit’ ended up in the magazine.
* Gifting HOLO is easy: When ordering just make sure to use the ‘Notes or instructions’ field to let us know your purchase is a gift. Ensure you provide the full name and mailing address of the recipient of your gift and their phone number as well (for if there are delivery problems). Alternatively, email us at email@example.com (please mention your order number) with these details. To ensure a christmas delivery of HOLO 1 do not bundle with HOLO 2 – HOLO 2 will ship in the new year.
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HOLO 2 wouldn’t be possible without some truly amazing supporters. This issue’s partners are the freshly-minted interdisciplinary research-focused ACT Centre in Gwangju (South Korea); ELEKTRA, responsible for the yearly audiovisual performance and installation-focused ELEKTRA festival as well as the BIAN digital art biennale in Montréal; Minneapolis’ venerable Eyeo, organizers of the very beloved festival of the same name and the interactive installation-focused INST-INT; FRAMED*, the manufacturers of the recently released “interactive canvas for the twenty-first century” digital art display; onedotzero, the storied London-based cultural producer who deal in event organizing and commissions on a global scale; the high profile fine art printing specialists at RECOM ART in Berlin; Tokyo’s peerless Rhizomatiks creative collective, who are currently reinventing projection and stage design; and the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe (Germany), one of the foremost art and technology institutions in the world. It is an honour to work with these organizations and we look forward to continuing these collaborations throughout 2016!
+ + + In Other News + + +
Tremors, Shifts, Tektonics: It’s been little more than a week, but we’re still smiling ear to ear – the inaugural edition of ACT Festival in Gwangju (South Korea), our biggest curatorial venture yet, was a huge success! From Ryoji Ikeda’s massive stroboscopic floor projection to Rhizomatiks and ELEVENPLAY’s incredible drone dance to hundreds of enthusiastic workshop participants – we are honoured to have been invited by ACT Center and ACC Creation to help launch their all new facilities with such a world-class program. Thanks to our Editorial Director Filip Visnjic and our Project Manager Sherry Kennedy who took the lead on this huge project!
Tech-Mex: In late September, our Creative Director Alexander Scholz shared the stage with HOLO 2 featured artist (designer, educator, toolmaker) Jürg Lehni at OFFF México to discuss how technology shapes our thinking and making, and the role of craftsmanship and materiality in the (post) digital age.
Goggle+: In early October, HOLO’s Editor-in-Chief Greg J. Smith gave a keynote address at the MUTEK_IMG VR Salon in Montréal. Channeling science fiction author Philip K. Dick, he considered ‘how to build a universe that doesn’t fall apart two days later’ in an age of immersive media.
French Connection(s): Our magazine made the cover of a magazine! In the current issue (#228) of the French design and visual culture publication étapes Isabelle Moisy probes us on “renouveler la culture visuell.” In geographically related news: we now have a Parisian stockist – as of this past fall, HOLO can be found on the shelves of La Gaîté lyrique’s shop.