In 1990 a small group of artist/holographers, selected by their peers, convened a meeting at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, to investigate both the feasibility and the merit of holding a regularly scheduled conference for artists, critics and others in the field of fine art holography. Over several days this group of artists attended lectures by prominent critics and curators, discussed their work and met informally to describe various issues of personal and community concern. This first International Congress on Art in Holography was exploratory in character - while real issues were discussed, the broader question of how these issues could be effectively placed in a conference setting was also being asked. I am pleased to see that the International Congress held at Saint Mary's College provided valuable insights into the needs of this artistic community. I am also gratified that the efforts and involvements of the delegates to this experimental Congress have come to fruition six years later at Art in Holography2. It was my hope that those attending this second symposium would continue to support it as a community organised event and offer their suggestions on ways in which our future gatherings might be further enhanced.
In planning our First International Congress, I was often asked if such a meeting was, in fact, necessary. "Why do it at all"? was a question several individual artists posed. Briefly, in my view, for the purposes of communication, community and leadership. As art continues to be assailed for its supposed indiscretions, community gives us strength - not just of numbers - but, more importantly, from a shared understanding and knowledge of critical issues, aesthetic, political and social, which face us each day. An international symposium such as this provides us with an opportunity to identify issues and formulate responses to them, both collectively and as individuals. While doing this, our symposium also presents us with a responsibility, to provide leadership within our defined medium, the broader arena of technologically based art and within fine art in general.
In my opening remarks at Art in Holography2 I commented... "Each of you that attended this symposium will grow in wisdom and appreciation over the next few days. What you acquire here will return with you to your homes and studios. I hope that it benefits your art and professional activities in some manner. Just as importantly, I hope that it prepares you to confront the critical issues facing yourself and your fellow art professionals, gives strength to your voice and permits you to lead in the effort to help others fully appreciate the magnificent medium which we celebrate through this international gathering". And now that we can look back on what was achieved, I believe we succeeded.
Co-chair, Art in Holography2, Nottingham, UK.
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