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Other Dimensions of Holography

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it's great to be here to museum looking forward to the
future of the log of the of the next century as Johnson and historian of science and I love museums but I'm also a physicist fascinated by innovative technologies and visions of the future so wearing both cats I have long been enraptured by holography itself for over 60 years myelography has been a field his excited enthusiasm creativity and investment it's stretched or understandings not just of optics but of the physical world it spawned new community is exploring new scientific concepts you artforms new expressions of engineering potential and here at MIT 1 of its key environments pyelography continues to promise much will question I want to try and discuss today is does this creative urge translate into guaranteed expansion and future success well to explore that question let me
begin with 3 quotations that express broadly a particular idea and 1 that I think many MIT workers perhaps implicitly follow the question the words of of Ralph Waldo Emerson this building a better mousetrap mean the world will beat a path to your door In other words should we expect innovation to provide expanding markets growing popular interest and successful holography the well the organizers of the Chicago World's Fair 76 years ago I thought this was a surefire process science discovers knowledge industry applies knowledge and the public adapts to the change now I don't know about you but I find this particular model very depressing and the because I'd like to think that we don't merely conform to technological impetus while then the boss something on roughly the same lines he said before holography took off we can invent the future we want so we can predict it that we can invent it all of these quotations are expressed in a kind of cultural confidence in the power that engineers and designers have in society in the various ways these quotations argue for determiners the notion that innovation leads automatically to popular uptake into a kind of guaranteed social effect 1 1 explore that idea based on the short history pyelography so far well
forecasting is tough work it's always been tough and particularly for leading edge technologies myelography has always been at the leading edges in several different dimensions I'd argue that is history can provide useful clues about how these dimensions can be expanded in the future technical enthusiasms can be seductive thrilling even overwhelming but these other dimensions involved factors that engineers sometimes discount searching for the better mousetrap we watched holography evolve over 60 years as I said along several dimensions during that time it push the envelope of scientific concepts it stretched public imagination so radically but it was difficult to absorb it provided applications so novel that they could be accommodated only with difficulty want a sketch of this history of exploring virgin territory can reveal something of the challenges ahead and we do this
by looking at holography his history so far we tend to be very slow it reconceptualizing something that's brand new then a scab on England URI then is you can Russia mn than others in the USA envisaged holography in ways that looking back can seem curiously constrained the linkage not recognizing the possibilities that we take for granted today a not because they were narrow thinkers but because they were culturally limited get more for example conceived the field is a technique for improving electron microscope images from crew demonstration experiment he attracted a handful of interest and spent about a decade tinkering with the idea tinkering is
an accurate description in later years after others had broadened the field significantly always work was recognized by the Nobel Prize and after retirement he served as a consultant at CBS laughs it's interesting that give or at CBS couldn't come up with compelling applications for pyelography is best attempt was to imagine reproducing three-dimensional scenes created by miniature models as a kind of consumer art a kind of front remark the this limitation conception was very restrictive it meant that the field was hampered in expanding socially and culturally so limited vision with only the weakest of social or cultural connections despite a man well read of a kind of renaissance man who is very much embedded in the culture the rich world and he was as prepared as anyone to make the most of this new technology but fresh innovation is a means the case of your that is here in the Soviet
Union of a decade later was if anything worse he conceived a much more general than coding technique what he called wave photography but he could only imagine 1 practical purpose for it when he wrote his dissertation on the subject as a wavelength sensitive optical elements the unfamiliarity of this work man that was incomprehensible to its peers and severely restricted his own vision the the so it's important to stress that that is your and give or were not strictly limited by the technology itself both of them used mercury lamps before lasers were available but then York even from the late 19 sixties after using lasers had no very compelling visions for what he could do with holography in terms of practical application yeah while we can extend this kind of
idea to Emmett at leaf and his contemporaries as well on even more dramatic scale leaf and others the Willow Run labs and Michigan explored brought terrain and holography this unlike the other 2 was a fast long well-funded program of research from the mid 19 fifties right through the 19 seventies it moved to the University of Michigan campus and to local firms and from those firms around the world they came up with at least 3 identities for what holography was 1st was image processing but that remained lodged in military secrets 2nd engineering diagnostics which proved commercially important for some time in the 3rd and most trumpeted was holographic photography what was called lensless photography in the mid 19 sixties these applications attracted bountiful research finds an interest in such research was taken up around the world the impact of these scientific investigations began to slow down 0 by the 19 seventies and recognized advances became further apart
yeah for 1 reason for this was that the analogies that
1st look promising didn't turn out to be so promising after a decade or so
pyelography had been touted as new photography and a subject that would follow the same path as this 19th-century relative it was anticipated that enthusiasm avatars would dramatically extend the field justice had happened in 19th photography
that entrepreneurs would find eager markets for the new technology the subject would be applied successively to portraiture yeah 2 movies television would commercializing drive profits in a guarantee trajectory of success by the 19 eighties so despite uptake by hobbyists entrepreneurs and a raft of corporations the historical trajectory look less and less accurate less likely it had a clear fault the analogy had implied a deterministic future and that future didn't actually have the the well if we examine the
commercial trajectory of holography we can see how this analogy different from reality the what the during the 19 sixties gained extraordinary attention from companies of all sizes these companies initially was seated directly from the research center University of Michigan for example spawned conductor on corporation the 1st major attempt to commercialize holography such companies in turn spawned 2nd generation from the reported by other kinds of innovative the ideas for applications with clever and very and actively pursued at but for
the most part these well founded and active attempts to create the future notably by conductor on in Michigan fail I and they failed despite the ample funding and effective networking within the burgeoning community of universities companies and government funded projects this was an unpleasant surprise for everyone involved pyelography was expected to be deterministic this new mousetrap couldn't fail to have customers beating a path to the door and yet it had the
now on the other hand the unanticipated positive effects of holography to not surprisingly the social side had been almost entirely on forecast by engineers the social change can be much more difficult to forecast and major technological change but new social groupings proved to be the greatest impact of the field new specialists were created by holography but because hologram's forced the creation of subject specialists but because the members of new groups took over and reshaped the subject they reinterpreted what color GM were for and they gave them a new life the such new social groupings are familiar to us from more recent technologies think of social networking for the internet largely unpredicted and on planned by the designers of the 1st the software for the Internet social networking was an appropriation of Internet technology recasting it for new purposes computers which have been very isolating as individually use devices mainly by men were transformed into portals providing empowering information of liberated communication all this kind of unexpected
appropriation by users can be seen most dramatically with holographic artists holograms invented by Stevie Benton were seen by Polaroid his employer as a potential patent windfall but they didn't deal particularly imaginatively with possibilities the on the other hand Benton's informal collaboration with artists notably Boston's terrier cast silver led to the uptake of so called rainbow holograms by artists and the further development in new ways as an esthetic medium often abstract often making use of diffraction color and overlaid holograms to create a new form of art now that may not sound very radical very different when I've described above the better mousetrap but artists were conceiving holograms and fundamentally different ways in the engineers have for most engineers rainbow holograms were not better they had operations they had limited vertical parallax they weren't what engineers needed artists on the other hand cast this kind of hologram is a new liberating media 1 that could be imbued with colors in creative ways and from unanticipated directions then
came some of the most compelling issues for holography holographic innovation was continued but just by the original innovators but by artists and artisans the an optical security systems the greatest commercial success so far gained a foothold by improbable historical events in the 19 eighties not because it was planned well in advance but because of accidents and people meeting people and funding being made available so again this was on forecasting the 19 sixties when holography was 1st touted as a wave of the future while from a more thorough
historical analysis and possible here we can suggest a few lessons from this particular case 1st train the 20th century when holography expanded quickly it got linked to earlier technological analogies and unexpectedly those analogies were not fertile they wore out and they were discarded the commercial emphasis of the 19 sixties and seventies guided by those analogies again largely failed the cultural impact of holograms proved evanescent it petered out rather quickly but there were quite unexpected bonuses of this activity a game completely and plant communities social groupings took up pyelography and reshaped it into a technology that's used that the and a handful of technical applications did prove commercially successful many years after the 1st attempts to profit from the field these applications have been almost entirely on forecast for the 1st 3 years under the table then pyelography had succeeded in unexpected and sometimes subversive along unpredicted dimensions the
or what I'm saying is that the history of holography in the history of technology generally offers lessons to innovators 1st lesson I think is that prediction in radically unfamiliar fields is very difficult the a corollary of this is that unsurprisingly planning the future of such a field is equally difficult probably more difficult so that was idea of inventing the future seem to be a rather hopeless 1 from the perspective of the the 21st century 2nd technologies in societies interact they drive each other technologies can alter society the social groups can adopt adapt or reject the technology to and in holography this has happened time after time 3rd we shouldn't expect the technologies compelled social alterations there's a give and take as a lot here shown some ideas are perpetually fertile and seductive like we creating a light-like image other ideas like having holography replaced two-dimensional photographs for advertising but had a much bumpier ride more that innovators in the field appreciate past the more be to understand this fluidity clever ideas have to interact with social needs and cultural desires how that'll play out for the 21st century remains to be seen
was set historical precedent the hints of what we should perhaps expect about the decades to come innovative engineering has to actively grapple with the social and cultural dimensions some social environments may be right for three-dimensional imaging others clearly are not as with holographic got anticipating cultural impact is achingly difficult but it's important key constantly in mind cultural desires can call these fields along we have to be cautious about the analogies we assume we forecast how innovation will advance to pyelography as super photography clearly failed it it was nothing like the predictions of the 19 sixties its impact was much less than anyone of that error predicted that confounded everyone active in the field no 1 was expecting that failure we can update this lesson we don't have to look back to the 19 sixties we can look back to the 19 nineties in the early 1990's the marketing manager for Ilford limited suggested to the Museum of Holography in New York which was attracting fewer and fewer visitors every year that they should relaunched themselves as a museum of virtual reality now the time that sounded compelling virtual reality in the early 19 nineties was a new buzzword it was a new appealing idea but from the perspective of the early 21st century it looks is rather like and a tarnished outmoded idea when we think a virtual reality and they may be getting better but we don't tend to think of it as the future in the way that we did 1 reason for that is that it was technically limited in the 19 nineties it was decided upon by the general public as being limited and no longer was a definition of what the future was digital technology though offers much broader possibilities that think needs to be made stronger and I'm sure the digital connections being discussed there move along that trajectory nevertheless the Rocard remains popular culture predicting the entity predictable needs collaboration between people who can understand this public response artists engineers psychologists perhaps other kinds of professional engineers alone can't do it and they haven't yet done it if this happens in building a better mousetrap might just might make the world be the path to ITER will thanks few
thank you very much we're gonna shed might promote I'm afraid now and then I'd like to just say what I what uh 1 of the appropriate start I think to today's proceedings that is but I think it reflects well on the personal story that Chuck Vest told last nite and engineers starting with a very particular set of applications obviously in his case took pleasure in his own surprise at the way in which a lot of the had been seized by the artistic community and since we're interested here in the in the technology and the arts and have that many representatives from both fields I think it's great to be reminded of these different dimensions and of the way in which the social and cultural pool is as important as the technological and engineering push in this field so cells very ad cleverly less time for all those questions I want to ask people if they could I'm assuming we have a hand-held might get Robin has 1 so if you want to come to the point please just signal and wait for the might otherwise you will be hurt the it the place in the middle the I and I was wondering if you knew what the size of the whole graphic market is but that's a good question sorry contentious as well now and I'm very diffident about even being able to estimates of the number I don't know myself and I suspect known in the industry really has a clear sense of the reality of a large number of so I can't say I would say it the markets are varied and some are really moving forward in some are fairly consistent and yet so really growing so it's would be very difficult for a number of but I think I suppose markets are also dynamic things I mean at who knew what the market for cell phones was and they began to take off in certain cultures sorting uh in the way they did I'm not sure that markets are deterministic things you can determine in advance in quite that way I think the stronger the the 1 of the things you're talking about and certainly the 1st slides is about the the cultural Poland how as an example like MP3 4 as an example word do of digital rights management and how the culture accepts or rejects is just more powerful than than typical of our corporate the entities uh wanted to accept that at hand is much stronger than they want to admit yeah I would tend to agree and I think also for audio technologies a simpler problem for filmography it's much more complex problem because the markets are able define the nation's are ill-defined of the money is of this is on you this whole social thing it's very interesting um the back there each 69 whatever whatever profit published future fart it predicted that there would be on there would be little logically communes but that she did say they would be an actor communities it would be formed around various but interest types of things which if you got the time on this is also on reflecting on the uh on the extraordinary fascination that is still up there for those that are 1st being exposed to a lot of the and even though they may make crappy Hall grammars is still absolutely fascinating and so the scene in analogy holds for photography but now that the the the ubiquitousness of the topping out based on people from carrying cell phones have cameras whether they like it or not but in the end just cameras being everywhere and the amounts of of the proliferation of digital photography by virtue of fact that it is a digital and no one's conscious anymore you know g don't take that guide the user in expression back in the sixties and people say well don't waste sound it out when you were taking photographs you present it to the camera so it's really interesting nous insanely because nobody thinks about the cost of it of except of course those who have to manage the digital asset of downstream and they had all these properties what remained uses In the context of this social aspect I think there's probably millions of people around but it's all shoebox polarity the kind of maybe is a glimpse into that and the advent of a ticket to inexpensive uh dialog with which you can do this on so they're just pushing forward in my in my mind and I'm I'm mentioning that even if it so technically lousy holograph on it's still actually fascinating and that there are millions and millions of people who uh having the opportunity have that experience of making our and will continue to do that so and in spite of the fact that it may not be a display quality how a museum piece and and then there's this
unseen aspect that I I think I mentioned to you last time product that that do 1 of my intuitions then that the burden is going in and ask you to formulate a set of questions as please because we another 1 at a time on-site whereas up and so be that a whole lot of regardless of their age of background of might discover a window into some other dimension the weighted Camorra himself had discovered library although that's it was 1 of the hopes for photography in the 19th century to and and in fact 1 of the realities was that individuals working at home as hobbyists as scientific amateurs did extend field dramatically I think the prospect for doing that in velocity is much less the reason is that during the 19 sixties and seventies there was ample funding from every source for well trained engineers and scientists and artists and to do everything they could with field so I think the prospects for amateurs doing here probably rather low but it's always a possibility that it could happen here we have 1 more year lease on his cell Weber and I have a question about perception and not perception of the field but actually fit of people's perception of the medium itself and I think that I would like you to speak to the idea that how much of virtual reality has affected people's increased perception of holograms perception of the debt and whole GM over time because the initial was not as well perceived as the generation now sees I think because of their experience with the limitation of virtual reality here I I probably can't give a very sensible answer that I I have the impression that the links between those 2 fields are rather rather weak so I don't think there's been a dramatic learning experience from the or to holography or back and forth from I think in a lot of the people's minds of on the general public holography was an innovation of the 19 seventies and it had such a popular peak in the seventies but for a lot of people that's typecast that decades technology justice for some people the artist typecast as the 19 nineties the idea of so everybody's transcend that kind of spirit of interest in 1 decade and make a sustainable and somehow thank you I think this might be the last question we have time for this point please and mental and in right now this a groundswell of interest in 3 D that's coming out of hollywood with 3 D movies here and there are a number of spin-off technologies in 3 D that are happening right now they using at goes technology for tele-presence 3 D gaming here you know treaty endowments do you see this is a weighty see holography 50 into that you see it as being competitive or will help us or it will would the fitting but I I I I would suspect again not being technically involved those different versions for for Hollywood my suspicion is that the major impact for holography is the term pyelography itself you know as we know this tele-presence idea in in television has been labeled holography but of course it's nothing to do with a lot of so what's being benefited from this is this sense that philosophy represents the future that is kind of Star Trek media and that's been grafted onto different technologies I'm going to just take chance provision just ask 1 thing which is a transition really to some of about what we have to common that is you you pointed in me toward the end your talk to the significance of the move into the digital holography and my question is this is their potential track even then you because the historical lessons that you want to draw from the 1st generation whether we should be critical of a kind of technological determinism which says you know your mass track a point you know we have a new technology that people will conform not and we could I suppose the tentative thing OK now we have a digital resources and now everything will be fine and presumably a if there's a lesson it's that we should be thinking differently about the potential of digital and I suppose my unfair question is how should we be thinking about it in ways other than that deterministic you but that that's very difficult to answer but but I think that is my basic point that we shouldn't expect new digital possibilities holography to make a better future to solve problems that haven't been intended by problems so what we got to be aware of is that any technology has has a link as an interface with with popular interest so society itself or cultural desires and if those are absent it doesn't matter how good the technology is it's not going to do anything so I think the social and cultural dimension must be forgotten otherwise the same kind experiences of the past we play out again with newer better more competent technologies MIT rumors meet time
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Formale Metadaten

Titel Other Dimensions of Holography
Untertitel The Historical, Social and Cultural
Serientitel Photons, Neurons and Bits: Holography for the 21st Century (MIT Museum 2009)
Teil 03
Anzahl der Teile 13
Autor Johnston, Sean
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung 3.0 Unported:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen.
DOI 10.5446/30393
Herausgeber River Valley TV
Erscheinungsjahr 2012
Sprache Englisch
Produktionsort Cambridge

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