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Proceedings Paper

Aesthetics and representation in holography
Author(s): Eduardo Kac
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Paper Abstract

Every medium has a code, a set of rules or conventions according to which determined elements are organized into a signifying system. The English language is a code as is perspective in painting and photography. In the first case, the elements are phonemes organized into words and sentences according to a social convention: the syntax of English. In the second case, the elements are dots and lines organized into pictures according to a geometric method. An artist or movement can break the conventions of the medium, as has done Cezanne with painting, Moholy-Nagy with photography and cummings with the English idiom in poetry, and create new elements and rules for combining them. If this is done, the level of predictability (or conventionality) is lowered and unpredictability is increased -- becoming more difficult for the immediate audience to understand it. But once these new rules are learned and the ideas behind them widely understood, the level of unpredictability is lowered and they become new conventions that can be accepted by the audience. Holographic artists exploring the medium -- as opposed to advertisers using holography, who favor a high level of predictability -- are breaking several visual and cultural conventions. As a matter of fact, holography is so new that many questions are left open about the nature of the medium. Therefore, any attempt to clarify the issues raised by holography on a cultural level has a prospective (and not conclusive) tone, concentrating more thoroughly on general points and on the promise of its potentialities than on the records of its historical achievements so far.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 1995
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 2333, Fifth International Symposium on Display Holography, (17 February 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.201893
Show Author Affiliations
Eduardo Kac, Univ. of Kentucky/Lexington (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2333:
Fifth International Symposium on Display Holography
Tung H. Jeong, Editor(s)

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