HOLOGRAPHIC POETRY

Holography was born in 1948 when the Hungarian scientist Dennis Gabor (later Nobel Prize of Physics), trying to improve the range of the electronic microscope, devised the possibility of three-dimensional reproduction. Only after the invention of the laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) the North Americans E.Leith and J.Upatnieks and the Russian Y.Denisyuk achieved the first three-dimensional holographic images (holos=everything). The holographic image not only transmits the visual characteristics of the objects but, also, their spatiality. This occurs because the hologram indicates each point of the object' surface showing them at the same time from several points of view. On the other hand the hologram is conditioned by binocular parallax and, also, by the relative position of the spectator with regard to it. For this reason to create poetic texts, luminously structured in space, honors the human physiology much more than those written in a bidimensional space, since it takes advantage of binocular vision and the mental powers associated with the perception of objects, not in a plane, but in space.

Also, orbital, ellipsoidal, curved, etc. syntaxes could be configured –necessarily, in order with what we have said above– in the creative process, that break with the monoscopic tradition of poetry. As we will already find out, virtual poetry is not so far from this achievement. As an unavoidable complement we present here some important paragraphs of the text "Holographic Poetry: 3 Dimensions of the Verbal Sign" by Eduardo Kac, included in the catalog of the VII National Salon of Visual Arts, 1984, Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

“Holographic images could be virtual (behind the hologram) or real (in front of the hologram); or still, part real, part virtual, as if the holographic film would section the image. This allows that the reader could open a book of holographic poems and that the very poem fluctuate in the air at 50 centimeters of distance from the page. Moreover, the hologram could be printed in large inexpensive editions, and for this reason will be, undoubtedly, the printing method of the future.

At the moment of the poem's conception, the poet should study all the combining possibilities among letters (three-dimensional objects) and angles of vision of the spectator (parallax) that are organized vertically and horizontally. That is to say, the layout of a hologram is constituted with the formulation of the diverse ways of perception the spectator will have, keeping in mind the degree of the hologram's parallax.

In this sense a new visual syntax arises that, in opposition to Mallarmé's white, articulates the poem starting from invisible volumes, three-dimensional black holes. It is for this reason that the poem acquires independence from the support and, thinking in terms of real image, permits that the spectator move the hand between the page and its holographic projection. I say "spectator" instead of "reader" because the poem generates an unusual perceptual decoding. The poet neither "writes", but creates the design, sculpts the die and makes the hologram of the object. Instead of the pen or the typewriter or the Letraset, the laser.”

Even faced with the evidence, there are critics that reject systematically the electronic art and who believe that holography is merely an idiom. But the poet of the XXI century elaborates a holographic language and inquires. What he/she wants nobody knows. Poetry is a three-dimensional enigma.