Zoom is a holographic artwork I created in Second Life under my Second Life name, Snubnose Genopeak. It is a totally unique work made with my own revolutionary digital holography technique I have developed! You will see nothing else like this anywhere!
This piece came out of a series of experiments with new forms of movement in Second Life in order to explore the idea of process in new ways. One of the key processes I wanted to examine was that of human consciousness: how to artistically represent the way our brains function to understand the world around us.
My initial concept was to create a set of artworks using interference patterns, also known as moiré patterns. The effect is familiar to many of us from watching a striped pattern on the TV, where the spatial frequency of the pixels interferes with the frequency of the stripes to create new artificial patterns.
This was the initial idea. However, along the way, I started to research into holography, another phenomenon created by interference patterns. We're all familiar with the holograms on our bank cards, and many other places in real life. What I wanted to do was different, though. I began exploring the idea of creating digital holograms in Second Life. To do this I started off by creating a set of textures that had defined wavelengths: stripes, grids, arrays of dots, and sequences of circles. Using the analogy of light-based holograms, these would be my basic light waves.
In holography, the initial light waves (usually in the form of a laser) are used first to encode the visual information to be captured. This happens when the light is scattered off the object being recorded. A second, reference light beam is then used to record the holographic image by creating interference patterns with the first beam. The basic principle is to use the light from the reference beam to illuminate the hologram, creating by diffraction the original light field, and so the illusion of the object is created.
I duplicated this process with my textures, but with one fundamental difference. The idea of completely digitally-produced holograms is quite a radical, new, and emerging field. It offers the ability to create holograms of objects that do not exist in real life, or that are even impossible in real life. However, I wanted to take the idea even further: I wanted to create holograms, NOT OF OBJECTS, BUT OF PROCESSES. Excited by this radical idea, I set about how to capture invisible dynamics and forces in a holographic phase space, creating a new set of encoded textures to carry the process information.
One of the beauties of digital holography is that you get two simultaneous interference processes going on at once: that of the hologram itself, and that of the moiré pattern created by its digital presentation through the pixels of the screen. The result is that there truly is an infinite amount of detail in these creations: every slight change in viewing angle or zoom will reveal a new set of patterns. Some of these patterns are very subtle, and it can take a while to acclimatise your eyes to them, almost like a 'magic eye' picture; others are striking and vibrant. The more you look at the images, however, the more you become aware of all these different levels of activity going on at the same time, creating a stunning degree of complexity out of such seemingly simple textures.
Because of the minute differences in phasing procedures, these works do not repeat themselves except over extremely long time scales. Familiar forms will crop up, but each time in a new context, and taking new directions. There is something very intuitive about the visual forms that we experience through these works; there is something very fundamental about them. This is partly because the idea of a holographic phase space can be seen as an analogy to how the brain operates. Indeed, the radical notions of holonomic brain theory take this idea one step further, arguing that holography is not an analogy to brain function, it is the actual way our minds work.
The following extract is from the Wikipedia page on holonomic brain theory. If you're interested in finding out more, you can read the rest of the article at:
The holonomic brain theory, originated by psychologist Karl Pribram and initially developed in collaboration with physicist David Bohm, is a model for human cognition that is drastically different from conventionally accepted ideas: Pribram and Bohm posit a model of cognitive function as being guided by a matrix of neurological wave interference patterns situated temporally between holographic Gestalt perception and discrete, affective, quantum vectors derived from reward anticipation potentials.
Pribram was originally struck by the similarity of the hologram idea and Bohm's idea of the implicate order in physics, and contacted him for collaboration. In particular, the fact that information about an image point is distributed throughout the hologram, such that each piece of the hologram contains some information about the entire image, seemed suggestive to Pribram about how the brain could encode memories. (Pribram, 1987). Pribram was encouraged in this line of speculation by the fact that DeValois and DeValois (1980) had found that "the spatial frequency encoding displayed by cells of the visual cortex was best described as a Fourier transform of the input pattern." (Pribram, 1987) This holographic idea led to the coining of the term "holonomic" to describe the idea in wider contexts than just holograms.
If you have a Second Life account, you can see this artwork for yourself inworld. Just use the following link: