Just as it is nearly impossible to be a computer artist and not be at least somewhat software literate - so it’s an uphill battle to operate a holography studio and not be at least somewhat adept with lasers and optics. I do not mean to imply that a knowledge of diffraction theory is a pre-requisite to creating good holographic images – in fact I would argue that until display holography transcends the domain of laser jocks and table jockeys – the technique will remain a classic underachiever. I sometimes get the feeling that certain veteran holographers resent the fact that the public doesn’t appreciate the effort that goes into their work - that if the viewing public knew of the trials and tribulations they’ve been through that they’d somehow appreciate their work much in the manner of Tibetan sand sculpture. The truth is holography (the way we do it) is not technically difficult - on par I would say with studio photography during the early part of the last century.
Convinced that a new approach (and some new blood) will benefit holography (unencumbered by the ghosts of holography past) we are planning a conference to be held in Las Vegas during calendar 2008. Bernadette and I will organize the event and we will be inviting many leading edge studio holographers, professionals from fine art, commercial graphic art, advertising and display as well as members of the technical imaging and laser communities. The goal of the conference will be to establish new directions within holography based on input from the visual arts community as well as to lay out the framework for much needed research.