Hologram Protest

Seraphine Meya

The hologram Protest is a new form of protest using hologram demonstrations instead of real people. It first appeared in 2014 as a reaction of the artist collective No somos delito to the gag-law in Spain. The gag-law was implemented by the Spanish government to counteract the continuous manifestations on the streets after the bank crisis in 2008. While billions of Euros were being used to save banks in Spain, there was growing unemployment and people losing their houses to the banks. The anger about austerity measures led to broad civil disobedience. In response, the government enacted an anti-protest law, prohibiting any protests in public with fines up to 600.000 Euro.

A hologram is a three-dimensional image of a holographed image without the use of any special glasses or intermediate optics. Using the interference of light and its physical feature of being wave and particle at the same time the structure of an object is banned on film material. This film can then be projected on an invisible screen or even on smoke and shows the whole holographed object. A hologram works best in dim light and if person or object was also holographed in the same light situation.

No somos delito founded the movement „hologramas por la libertad“ where everyone could participate by sending holograph-videos of their own resistance. The artists holographed thousands of protestors from all over the world to put together a massive demonstration. On the 10th of April 2015 the demonstration took place in front of the Spanish parliament in Madrid. It seemed like ghosts were walking through the streets, claiming their right to free speech. Together with the strong sound of the chorus „No a la Ley Mordaza“ (no to the gag-law) the artists succeeded in presenting a very powerful image of civil disobedience. A holographic woman held a speech in which she stated „if we are not allowed to speak as persons out in the street, we speak as holograms“. The action was the first worldwide using the hologram technique for protest. On 1st of July the law, which levers out democratic basic rights, took effect. Europe holds high its democratic rights. The citizen should be a sovereign according to the constitution. In the middle of this Europe Spain as a country with a long history of insurrections enables a law which prohibits any form of assembly in front of public buildings. Organizers of such gatherings face fines from 30.000 to 600.000 Euro, depending on the assembly being announced or not or the importance of the official building close to which it takes place. Taking an image of officials or being rude towards them can lead to a fine starting from 600 Euro. Those fines can be imposed arbitrarily by the police officers without any legal procedure.

According to a survey by Metroscopia for Avaaz.org in december 2014 82% of the queried are against the law which forbids the right of free speech and free opinion as well as the right of assembly. The holograms are a view of a future where the streets may be only be used for visualized protests of virtual democratic initiatives. The society becomes something fictive without the direct bodily right of claiming freedom and justice. The first hologram protests are thus a signal to the world that especially when the times are becoming tense we need more democracy, not less.

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About the Author:
Seraphine N. Meya, Theoretikerin und Aktionskünstlerin promoviert an der Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe (HfG). Sie ist Autorin, unterrichtet und realisiert künstlerische und aktivistische Projekte. Sie studierte Kunstwissenschaft, Philosophie, Szenografie und Psychologie in Karlsruhe, Heidelberg, Berlin und Pisa.
Contact: smeya@hfg-karlsruhe.de

Reference / Quellennachweis:
Seraphine Meya: Hologram Protest, in: Aesthetics of Resistance, Pictorial Glossary, The Nomos of Images, ISSN: 2366-9926, 30 December 2015, URL: http://nomoi.hypotheses.org/355.


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