by Hart Perry
While Hart Perry was teaching a special project in holography at Bard College, Anaka Decker proposed making a holographic film of a realistic image from an electron microscope. To his knowledge this had never been done before. To make a hologram that had never been seen before was one of the reasons Bill Molteni, Rudie Berkhout and Hart made a Lloyd Cross multiplex machine in 1976. To make Anaka’s hologram Bill and Hart had to renovate the holographic film company’s multiplex machine. It was constructed with the help of the innovator of this technology, Lloyd Cross. In the early 70’s, to the best of our knowledge, holograms could only be made in a laboratory and could not be made of people moving or outdoor images. Lloyd Cross innovated a type of hologram made from motion picture film that solved this problem. This technology allowed for an expansion of subject matter in holography. The first holographic movie of Salvador Dali and Alice Cooper was made by Lloyd Cross. Hart Perry was one of the cameramen.
The reason why Hart, Bill and Rudie built a Cross inspired multiplex machine was that they had no access to experiment with such a machine since Lloyd’s machine was across the country from them. With their own machine they could experiment with innovative holograms.
They learned from Salvador Dali that artists could play an important role in discovering new frontiers in imagery. They started an artist in residence program to accomplish this. Rudie Berkhout wanted to make a hologram of a flower opening up. As a cameraman Hart knew how to use a time-lapse camera to film a flower opening up. A high speed camera was used for The Dancer, Nora Guthrie’s hologram of her partner’s leap. With a regular camera the rapid movement of a leap would have resulted in a distortion. There was no distortion with the high speed camera. George Griffin made one of the first cell animated holograms. Christos Tountass made one of the first computer animated holograms. Dan Schweitzer innovated a hologram that combined a white light hologram with a stereogram in Movie Theater. The audience started at the surface of the film and extended in space to the movie screen where Dan started to pluck out a member of the audience. Aaron Kurzen innovated holograms that were combined with his sculptures. They integrated holographic images appearing in space with real images.
In our research program, Bill Molteni was awarded grants to make new types of stereograms- black and white and color stereograms. He produced many of the master holograms for selected artists on our multiplex machine.
Rudie Berkhout innovated flat stereograms and abstract imagery. He also developed displays for this work.
Southwood Holographics acquired the holograms from the Holographic Film Company’s artist in residence program. It is continuing this program with the HoloCenter. The HoloCenter is the administrator of our artist in residence program. It also has an artist in residence program, exhibits holograms, educational workshops, and grants in holography.
Part of the Southwood Holographic mission is to engage a younger generation with holographic art, science, and education. This is being lead by Anaka Decker, Melissa Crenshaw and Dwane Decker. They are developing educational workshops and classes in holography that utilize our laboratory.
As senior holographers, Hart and Bill will share their knowledge with a younger generation. After becoming one of the foremost holographic artist, Rudie Berkhout passed away. Tom Ditto has now taken his place as a collaborator with Hart and Bill.
With this team the assets of the Holographic Film Company were transferred to Southwood Holographics. These included the multiplex machine, optics and mounts for tabletop holography, and over three hundred master holograms.
From there the team has continued expanding their ideas and their facilities. The facilities were constructed to produce John Perry’s large format holograms. He essentially transferred his laboratory to Southwood. This technology allows for the production of large scale moving image holograms of any subject. Southwood Holographics is committed to the exploration of this technology through digital advancements. Bill Molteni is currently producing a digital holographic movie machine. He has built three other digital machines in a distinguished career. He went on to work with Steve Benton, the inventor of white light transmission holograms, at Polaroid. He has received a number of patents and written important papers on holography.