Special Issue "Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Visual Arts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (19 July 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Andrew Pepper
Website
Guest Editor
School of Art and Design, Nottingham Trent University, NG1 4FQ Nottingham, UK
Interests: the position of holography within contemporary visual culture; historical perspectives within holography; spatial drawing and mark-making; projected light, installation and time-based media; the peripheral view; the unsupported mark; luminous indicators; ephemeral documents; 3-D imaging; constructed worlds and research informed teaching

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In her seminal PhD thesis, submitted to the Royal College of Art, London, in 1994, Margaret Benyon, MBE, postulated the question “How is holography Art?”. Within her 226 pages, she attempted to put pressure on the ‘How’ not the ‘Why’ or the ‘If’, using the lens of her own, considerable, research in the field.

The broad issues surrounding this area of critical debate have not been extensively or continuously explored, either from within the field of practising artists investigating holography as a process, medium and methodology or through broader discursive platforms within the visual arts. The medium remains, for most, a curious optical innovation that lacks critical consideration.

Perhaps, almost 25 years later, Benyon’s question is somewhat redundant, or too blunt an instrument to accurately pressurise the extensive research which has taken place over this period. Artists have actively extended the vocabulary of holographic imaging, not only through disrupting the technology, which makes it practical, but also through an attempt to investigate its visual, conceptual and practical vocabularies.

Contributions are invited which explore, critically, the use and development of holography within the visual arts and culture from the perspectives of practitioners, critics, curators, observers, collectors, insiders and outsiders.

Texts investigating: individual practice and the development of an extended creative vocabulary; own works or installations which test critical concerns; speculative research which places pressure on traditional views of the medium and its supportive technologies; curatorial observations spanning historical and contemporary collections or exhibitions; contextualisation of an individual’s creative practice; analysis of research methodologies within the field and the impact of holography across the visual/cultural landscape, are invited. Papers which focus specifically on technical processes (unless they are a significant contributor to critical debate) should be submitted to more technical forums.

In 70 years holography has moved from an optical concept, through analogue technologies, which promised a new way of viewing and manipulating our visual and conceptual world, to digital production which now sits alongside data-driven virtual worlds constructed by digital natives (those who never knew a world without the internet). It is time for a considered, critical, assessment.

Dr. Andrew Pepper
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • holography
  • holograms
  • perception
  • illusion
  • 3-D
  • three-dimensions
  • installation
  • spatial drawing
  • spatial manipulation
  • mark-making
  • luminous imaging
  • ephemeral documents
  • volumetric recording
  • distorting the facsimile

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Fence-Sitting and an Opportunity to Unsettle the Settled: Placing Critical Pressure on Creative Holography
Arts 2020, 9(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010034 - 05 Mar 2020
Abstract
The field of creative holography is not known for its critical introspection [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
When the Image Takes over the Real: Holography and Its Potential within Acts of Visual Documentation
Arts 2020, 9(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010024 - 15 Feb 2020
Abstract
In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes discusses the capacity of the photographic image to represent “flat death”. Documentation of an event, happening, or time is traditionally reliant on the photographic to determine its ephemeral existence and to secure its legacy within history. However, [...] Read more.
In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes discusses the capacity of the photographic image to represent “flat death”. Documentation of an event, happening, or time is traditionally reliant on the photographic to determine its ephemeral existence and to secure its legacy within history. However, the traditional photographic document is often unsuitable to capture the real essence and experience of the artwork in situ. The hologram, with its potential to offer a three-dimensional viewpoint, suggests a desirable solution. However, there are issues concerning how this type of photographic document successfully functions within an art context. Attitudes to methods necessary for artistic production, and holography’s place within the process, are responsible for this problem. The seductive qualities of holography may be attributable to any failure that ensues, but, if used precisely, the process can be effective to create a document for ephemeral art. The failures and successes of the hologram to be reliable as a document of experience are discussed in this article, together with a suggestion of how it might undergo a transformation and reactivation to become an artwork itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
Open AccessArticle
Material Light—In the Realm of the Photon
Arts 2020, 9(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010004 - 02 Jan 2020
Abstract
The artist discusses his work and concepts within the context of the true hologram. He examines the character and attributes of the holographic medium that can assist in the evolution of human perception. Artists and their creative expressions have always had a place [...] Read more.
The artist discusses his work and concepts within the context of the true hologram. He examines the character and attributes of the holographic medium that can assist in the evolution of human perception. Artists and their creative expressions have always had a place at the forefront of change, catalyzing ideas into perceptual evolution. Artistic endeavors that continue to incorporate light as a material will foster the evolving field of the hologram as fine art and influence how light is perceived and used within the expanding world culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
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Open AccessArticle
Reviewing the Inclusion of Artists’ Holograms in the Permanent Collections of Fine Art Museums
Arts 2019, 8(4), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040147 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
Opening in 1976 with the exhibition, “Through the Looking Glass”, the Museum of Holography (MOH) emphasized from the beginning the importance of artistic holography with the inclusion of several holograms by artists whose primary practice was holography, articulating for the first time a [...] Read more.
Opening in 1976 with the exhibition, “Through the Looking Glass”, the Museum of Holography (MOH) emphasized from the beginning the importance of artistic holography with the inclusion of several holograms by artists whose primary practice was holography, articulating for the first time a distinction between artists, scientists and technicians. While the scientific and engineering principles underlying the technology could educate a public, holograms made by artists provided the visual syntax for the creative possibilities holography could offer. The MOH continued to encourage and support artists’ work throughout its history, amassing a large collection of holograms representative of the most prolific period of artistic activity from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum (MIT Museum) in Boston acquired the entire archive including artistic and technical holograms as well as all related materials when the MOH closed in 1992. This paper will seek to explore whether the medium of holography within the visual arts has led to fine art museum acquisitions in the intervening decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
Open AccessArticle
The Gallery as a Location for Research-Informed Practice and Critical Reflection
Arts 2019, 8(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040126 - 27 Sep 2019
Abstract
Creative holography could still be considered a fringe medium or methodology, compared to mainstream art activities. Unsurprisingly, work using this technology continues to be shown together with other holographic works. This paper examines the merits of exhibiting such works alongside other media. It [...] Read more.
Creative holography could still be considered a fringe medium or methodology, compared to mainstream art activities. Unsurprisingly, work using this technology continues to be shown together with other holographic works. This paper examines the merits of exhibiting such works alongside other media. It also explores how this can contribute to the development of a personal critical framework and a broader analytical discourse about creative holography. The perceived limitations of showing holograms in a “gallery ghetto” are explored using early critical art reviews about these group exhibitions. An international exhibition, which toured the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia, is used as a framework to expand the discussion. These exhibitions include examples of the author’s holographic work and those of artists working with other (non-holographic) media and approaches. The touring exhibition as a transient, research-informed process is investigated, as is its impact on the critical development of work using holography as a valid medium, approach, and methodology in the creative arts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
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Open AccessArticle
The Dynamic Display of Art Holography
Arts 2019, 8(3), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030122 - 19 Sep 2019
Abstract
Holograms have been displayed in single-artist and group exhibitions, since the late 1960’s. The content within a holographic image can be greatly compromised if the hologram is not displayed correctly. Holography exhibitions can either enhance or diminish the impact of the images depending [...] Read more.
Holograms have been displayed in single-artist and group exhibitions, since the late 1960’s. The content within a holographic image can be greatly compromised if the hologram is not displayed correctly. Holography exhibitions can either enhance or diminish the impact of the images depending on how the exhibit layout and lighting are designed. This paper looks at art holography from the exhibition installation perspective and offers methods for assuring dynamic displays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
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Open AccessArticle
The Silent Researcher Critique: A New Method for Obtaining a Critical Response to a Holographic Artwork
Arts 2019, 8(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030117 - 10 Sep 2019
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to provide a plausible answer as to whether the Z-axis of holographic space can be used to depict a chronological narrative with an affective impact. This article describes a practice-based holographic arts study in which the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to provide a plausible answer as to whether the Z-axis of holographic space can be used to depict a chronological narrative with an affective impact. This article describes a practice-based holographic arts study in which the author created interactive artworks with family photographs taken from the late 1800s to the present day, and stacked them in chronological order within the Z-axis of holographic space. The artworks were evaluated by different audiences to determine whether the viewer could perceive the new application of holographic space, and whether the artwork had an affective impact. An art critique method used both in Higher Education settings in the UK and in professional art practice, was adapted as a research tool for use in this study and termed ‘the silent researcher critique’. The findings of the project were that audiences had a new experience when interacting with the works and were impacted emotionally by them, however only a group of experts in art and holography were able to identify and comprehend the new conceptual use of the Z-axis of holographic space. This study’s value can be measured by its offering practice-based arts researchers a novel method of obtaining valuable critical feedback from peers and by its contribution to the aesthetic development of the medium of art holography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
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Open AccessArticle
The Dispositif of Holography
Arts 2019, 8(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8010028 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The French word dispositif, applied to visual art, encompasses several components of an artwork, such as the apparatus itself as well as its display conditions and the viewers themselves. In this article, I examine the concept of dispositif in the context of [...] Read more.
The French word dispositif, applied to visual art, encompasses several components of an artwork, such as the apparatus itself as well as its display conditions and the viewers themselves. In this article, I examine the concept of dispositif in the context of holography and, in particular, synthetic holography (computer-generated holography). This analysis concentrates on the holographic space and its effects on time and colors. A few comparisons with the history of spatial representation allow us to state that the holographic dispositif breaks with the perspective tradition and opens a new field of artistic research and experimentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
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Other

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Open AccessEssay
Speaking Volumes: Studying Depth in Holographic Narratives
Arts 2020, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9010001 - 18 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This article investigates a decision every holographer makes: where to place light-forms along the z-axis, given the power of light imagery. This choice governs what sits behind the plate, what is on the surface and what projects in front of the plate toward [...] Read more.
This article investigates a decision every holographer makes: where to place light-forms along the z-axis, given the power of light imagery. This choice governs what sits behind the plate, what is on the surface and what projects in front of the plate toward the viewer. After considering ways that the placement of imagery sets the stage for viewers to respond to a holographic narrative, examples are offered from a series of reflection holograms. These examples are drawn from a continuing creative practice which explores aspects of narrative within the unique parameters of holographic volume. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
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Open AccessEssay
Holographic Reconstruction of Objects in a Mixed-Reality, Post-Truth Era: A Personal Essay
Arts 2019, 8(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030102 - 16 Aug 2019
Abstract
The ephemeral holographic image is an appropriate medium to express the nature of reality and illusion, an early interest I explored with trompe-l’œil painting. To make a representational hologram, one needs a worthy object to copy, and one that is hand-made by the [...] Read more.
The ephemeral holographic image is an appropriate medium to express the nature of reality and illusion, an early interest I explored with trompe-l’œil painting. To make a representational hologram, one needs a worthy object to copy, and one that is hand-made by the artist adds to the unity of the work. The resulting copy physically resembles the original, and when both are placed together in the final composition, the material object now has an immaterial, metaphysical presence one could identify as soul. In this paper, I present a recent artwork that exhibits these characteristics, and the theme of Reality, Truth and Lie is firmly placed within the current political context. The historical background to my work, relevant aspects of the technical process, and closer analysis of the ambiguities inherent in the hologram are all noted in my narrative, and I add my own personal comments and opinions. One invaluable source has been the published accounts of other artists/holographers who describe their own experience in holography, a medium that fuels ideas rather than being only a tool to express them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holography—A Critical Debate within Contemporary Visual Culture)
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