Artists have been working with holography for 30 years. They began their exploration almost as soon as it became a practical reality and long before it attracted the attention of curious exhibition visitors queuing to see these three-dimensional illusions, this 20th Century 'magic'.

Collected here are examples from those 30 years of exploration. Pieces which transcend the 'clever gimmick', which show a maturity and confidence in a developing medium. They have been selected by artists, writers and collectors who were invited to speak at Art in Holography2, The International Symposium, held at the University of Nottingham, UK, in September 1996. The images are accompanied by observations about individual works, as well as broader insights into this developing creative medium.

In the 1960's and 70's holography was the exciting 'new media technology' capable of creating dimensional worlds for us to explore - in which to create - in which to escape: A photonic revolution. In the 1980's and 90's Virtual Reality replaced holography as the 'new digital medium' offering similar possibilities: A digital revolution.

As we approach a new century the photonic and digital worlds are merging, continuing to offer artists different platforms from which to launch their ideas and ask their questions. It is sometimes difficult to 'see' past the technology, whether it is 'clamped' to our eyes at birth, as in the case of the baby in the cover hologram (part of the postcard collection we distributed in 1999), or 'suspended' in front of us, held within a brightly lit sheet of glass - the hologram in the exhibition. The artists who spoke at Art in Holography 2 have long been able to use the 'tool' of holography to shape their own, new, realities or comment on the 'traditional', providing us with a different 'window' to look through. Being able to 'see' through these 'windows', without prejudice, is often difficult... but the rewards can be astounding.

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