Legenda is launching its new Visual Culture series with what we hope we can say is an ambitious slate of five opening titles. This is number 4, and the others are here, here, here, and here; you can also read the series announcement or meet the editors.
Number 4, then, is Memory of the Future: Holograms and Digital Afterlives, a new monograph by Silke Arnold-de Simine. The invention of photography was also an invention of a new way to remember things, and the same can surely be said of emerging digital media. Will our age some day be re-experienced mainly in virtual reality? There is a generation of writers who are forever monochrome because they died before colour film arrived: and perhaps today's older generation today will be the last to be two-dimensional in the historical record, never having been motion-captured in 3D as digital objects. Mobile phones are just about good enough now to 3D-capture small inanimate items, but it won't be long before they scan whole human bodies and the rooms we live in.
Holograms seemed for a while to be one of those futuristic things which actually go back decades, but never really caught on: think of R2-D2 projecting a gowned Princess Leia, in a fuzzy sort of way which never quite seemed convincing as the future's version of a telephone message. And yet holograms are now back, though they are usually called something else, and use a profusion of technological methods. Silke's book looks in particular at this extraordinary development as it is used in contemporary memorials and exhibitions of the past.
Memory of the Future is due out in our Visual Culture series in 2022.