edited by Nora N. Khan – HOLO 3, Mirror Stage, Between Computability and its Opposite


HOLO, ISSN 2292-0919, English, 228 pages, 2022, Germany

The third Holo magazine is dedicated to AI and its (still too few) malcontents. With the usual sophisticated content, it now appears in a smaller format. Writer and curator Nora N. Khan edited this issue, which features fifteen contributors including K Allado-McDowell, Mimi Ọnụọha, Jenna Sutela and Suzanne Treister. HOLO 3, Mirror Stage, Between Computability and its Opposite explores fundamental questions about AI and also examines some of the ancestors of machine-produced content. It is divided into four sections dealing with “partial knowing”, predictive logic, “mapping outside of language” and the accountability of AI. For each section there are introductory ‘prompt’ essays and then original essays on current critical aspects of AI. Moving away from an obsession with the state of the art, the essays reflect on the most pressing questions surrounding AI and outline alternative and critical commentary on the topic, highlighting limitations and problems and debating the intellectual stance to take when dealing with these technologies. As usual, design reflects content: here, the mirroring technique used by the editor to ask questions is integrated with the use of silver ink and foil text on the front cover and a reflective back cover. It’s almost like the text is asking us to reflect on how much of ourselves we project into the machine.