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In 2016, I was honored to be awarded a Holographic Artist Residency by the Center for the Holographic Arts (HoloCenter, NYC).
This award enabled me to create an art installation that integrates two 3-dimensional mediums: sculpture and holography. In the finished artwork, a stone sculpture is displayed between two holographic images of that same sculpture, thereby presenting a unique compare-and-contrast opportunity for a curious viewer --- since one image is made of solid rock and the other "identical" images are made from intangible light rays.
The former was created using a very primitive technology (stone carving), and the latter using a very modern technology (laser holography). I handcrafted the stone sculptures used as the basis for this art installation. To create the large, high-quality holograms needed for the project, I utilized the holography laboratory located at the Ohio State University Department of Physics, under the direction of Dr. Harris Kagan.
In June 2016, I traveled to Ohio State University to begin working on my project (the first of three multi-day production sessions), since their Physics Department has the specialized equipment used to create high-quality holograms.
Holography is somewhat similar to film photography, in that to record an image, a specially-formulated emulsion is exposed to light -- in this case, the light from a laser -- which has the photonic properties required by holographers.
Once exposed, the holographic recording material (i.e., the film) is manually processed using conventional darkroom techniques.
Most hologram production facilities are only capable of making 3D images of inanimate objects -- such as toy figurines or miniature models. I used two of my favorite stone sculptures as subject matter. We shot two holograms of each piece (one side and the opposite side).
As part of the HoloCenter award, artists are offered the opportunity to utilize the rare "pulse" laser at the Ohio facility. This vintage laser emits a burst of ruby-red light so quickly, it enabled Dr. Kagan to also record a live action shot of me striking a chisel with my hammer.
The first set of holograms fully processed in the darkroom are called the "master" holograms. These first-generation (H1) recordings are fully dimensional and have ultra-high resolution. However, these master holograms are only viewable in laser light.
In 2019, the various transmission and reflection holograms I made were displayed alongside the Chief sculpture at two art galleries --- Art at Leeds (NY) and Holley Gallery (MD).
It is very unusual to see finished holographic images with the original subject matter.
The finished installation is available for display in your gallery. Proper lighting (narrow-beam spotlights) is required. A semi-dark viewing environment, with enough space for a viewer to walk around the installation, provides optimal visual impact.
The holographic portion of this art installation was made possible by the generousity of HoloCenter's Holographic Artist Residency program (Martina Mrongovius, Director).
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