It’s been nearly two years coming, and now the second issue of the art, science and tech title HOLO has finally landed. At 200+ pages long, the scope and ambition of the publication continues to impress; it’s tome-like form and extensive approach also puts it in the same league of deliberately slow mags like Canada’s The Alpine Review.
Produced by the team behind the London / Toronto / Berlin based Creative Applications, HOLO’s content is international and aims to contextualise the issues and ideas tackled in a sparing way on the site’s blog. There aren’t many publications exploring where the digital, the scientific and the artistic meet with the kind of honed approachability of HOLO – the only others that spring to mind are sections of Wired and also London-based POSTmatter.
HOLO’s attention to detail needs a lot of unpacking. The cover, for example, is the result of a long-term experiment and collaboration with London-based conceptual designer Karsten Schmidt. Karsten devised a system where two million random numbers were created by the gestures, swipes and key taps of visitors of a website, and he translated this into a dynamic set of crystalline patterns. One of these ‘digital crystals’ sits on the cover, and others feature throughout as section breaks. Issue one used a deep blue colour throughout the pages, this time it’s a vivid green.
Like The Alpine Review, the whole magazine is simply too extensive to describe in its entirety, so here’s a taster of what’s inside. One of the themes that issue 2 unpacks is ‘randomness’, so there’s a cutout ‘Random Number Generator’ for readers to assemble (above). This falls inside an essay on the history of channelling random numbers for email encryption, stock market analysis, computer simulation, etc (also above).
There’s a considered, in-depth look at the rise in residency programs at scientific institutes that invite artists to access and experiment with new technology (above), and a long-form interview with artist Katie Paterson, who is behind the Future Library project and engages with a variety of scientific specialisms, notably astronomy and astrophysics (also above).
An exploration into the intersection between craft and code through an interview with Swiss artist Jürg Lehni (above), a look at the algorithms used to generate expansive video game worlds (above), and an investigation into the innovations of immersive VR (also above) are a few other highlights.
HOLO, The Alpine Review, Lazlo Review, etc. are like encyclopaedias that take specific topics and dress them in the look and form of a mag.
Read our 2014 interview with creative director Alexander Scholz