Dan Schweitzer

“My fascination for holography stems from my attraction to the light and the ability to “sculpt” this energy. Light, it seems to me, is the most effective medium to use when attempting to visualize an idea. Ideas themselves seem to be composed of light. It is the metaphorical behavior of light that compels me to record it as signposts in my travel to examine thought, reality, and our perception of them. Through this pursuit to portray and analyze the nature of light, I have tried to provide a reasonable context for the abstractions that result. I have attempted to concentrate on creating images that could capture the viewer’s attention and draw him/her into the work and to surrender to the context and reality of the image before them. I suppose because of my background in the theatre, my choice of presentation of imagery has been, in general, narrative, not necessarily linearly so. As time is often a theme, many of the images involve the use of special effects devices to create some kinetic event. To me holography has always been a kind of cinema. I have counter- balanced this event over time with a static tableaux to allow the spatial relationships to play out as the viewer scans the available parallax from left to right. It was not enough to simply show a new experiment with my devices but I wanted to feature it in a reasonable context. The tableaux becomes enriched and bathed in the presence of the sculpted energy before it. In general, however, it was often the optical animation which propelled me to the holography table. A number of finished artworks resulted from these studies, some of which I’d like to highlight in my search for the ultimate tableaux.”

-Dan Shweitzer

Dan Schweitzer, The Gallery Triptych, 1982, Three white light transmission holograms; glass 11 x 15 x 1/4″

The Gallery Triptych is a hologram of a gallery of holograms. At the apex of the viewing triangle, the viewer will be viewing a total of 18 holograms at one time. In panel No. 2, “The Barn” is featured as a hologram of a hologram of a hologram of a hologram of a photograph, extending the viewing depth to a meter. The separated and angled plates of the three panels were intended to envelope the periphery of the viewer. Though I consider this work to be one of my most ambitious and most successful, it remains for me a troublesome effort. It was not until I distorted the entire room, for example, by eliminating a collimated reference beam, that I was satisfied with the depth and presence of the scene.

In panel No. 2, the viewer inside the gallery space gazes through the virtual veil of the holographic plate to a point hovering in the real viewer space. Is the tiny viewer in the gallery looking at that point, or is he, in fact, looking at me in mine? For me, the point represented the reference for the three panels, shedding its light into a new arena. This, of course, opened a Pandora’s box of new issues to be addressed on the viewer side of the plate.

I finished my triptych imagery with a newly solidified recording system to project the hexagram in panel No. 3 and for good measure, I projected into the viewer space a phantom of a real viewer, who actually gets in the way of the real viewer’s ability to see the entire gallery space in the panel. I was truly in the viewer space now. And I had brought my characters with me! Though my attempt to bathe the viewer and his periphery in the image was not entirely successful, it opened the door to a new space.

        -Excerpt from the essay originally at ART IN HOLOGRAPHY-2, Nottingham, England and formally presented at HOLOGRAPHIC NETWORK conference, Berlin, Germany, Oct. 1996

Full text online: http://xalrazutis.org/alchemists/visual_alchemy/wave2000-4.html