Author: Susan Wenyon Michael Gamble
This seems an appropriate moment to consider the role of the book as a vulnerable artefact of
late 20th-Century culture, as new electronic media are being demonstrated and promoted.
In the last year we have made more than 125 holograms of books, using a documentary form
of hologram developed to record rare and valuable objects in museums of the former Soviet
Union. Each of our holograms contains a threedimensional image of an individual book with its
spine (and title) visible and the body of the book receding into blackness; the holograms were
cut to be the same shape as a book, tall and narrow. This type of hologram, called a
Denisyuk hologram after its inventor, is a very 'straight' form of hologram without any 'artistic'
effect. At the time we were visiting professors in the art department of Tsukuba University, Japan. We chose
all of the books from a single library in the art department ? Japanese and English texts ranging
from books on optics to books on art. Some were very recent, others much older, including
European technical and scientific books imported during the last century when Japan opened itself to
the rest of the world. The book presented itself as a common cultural carrier, an object with equal
traditions in East and West and a suitable point to contemplate our own situation in relation to the
culture we found ourselves in. After making holograms of books we started to
draw books on a computer and to manipulate scanned images of books using
digital photography software.