Eduardo Kac (1962 - )

Holo/Olho (1983)

height: 21.5cm
width: 30cm

Donated by Eduardo Kac 2003


Holo/Olho is a holographic image of the words HOLO and OLHO, which is activated by light reflection. It is the first of Eduardo Kac's holopoems: language works produced using the medium of holography. It is thus of key historiographical importance, not only in relation to Kac's oeuvre, but for the emergence of experimental new media poetry in Brazil in the late 1970s and early '80s. This research extended a project that begins with the theoretical formation of visual, or concrete, poetry in São Paulo in 1952.

Eduardo was attracted to the holographic process as a writing medium because it produces texts that do not 'rest quietly on the surface'. When the viewer starts to look for words and their links in the holopoem, the poem will transform itself, move in three-dimensional space, change in meaning, coalesce and disappear. The entire process is activated by the movement of the viewer and because of this, as Eduardo has explained, the medium emphasises the reciprocal relationship between reader and poem, or viewer and artwork.

Kac began writing through the process of holography in 1983. As well as assuming a critical standpoint in relation to the linear rules of text, Kac's holopoems, concerned with time and movement, border on the cinematic. A conventional movie is a series of recorded shots projected in quick succession onto a single screen in front of a seated audience. The different shots within each holopoem are not projected sequentially onto a screen but through a singular filmic surface, a surface that simultaneously records a series of different images (of words) from different points of view. Each holopoem thus compresses a substantial amount of recorded time in the form of different sequences of letters, a time which can be re-read only when one moves around it.

Isobel Whitelegg, 2008

browse the collection

artist a-z > work type > advanced search >