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HologramsA Cultural History$
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Sean F. Johnston

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712763

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712763.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2022

Channelling Dreams

Channelling Dreams

(p.191) 11 Channelling Dreams

Sean F. Johnston

Oxford University Press

By the end of the century, non-viewers and non-enthusiasts of holograms far outnumbered those who engaged with them directly. Most cultural exposure to holograms was second or third hand: vicarious experiences via media narratives and videogames. The technology and experience of holograms became entwined in contemporary legends. Forecasts of their development, so central to engineering cultures and corporate promotion, inspired popular speculative fantasy and science fiction. Holograms of the future carried on the modernist optimism: in the worlds of fiction expressed in new media, holograms represented unbridled technological progress that seemed inevitable. This concluding chapter argues that, for their changing audiences and creators, holograms have satisfied desires that had been identified, trialled and nurtured over five generations. Seen in this light, holograms are the paradigm cultural product of the late twentieth century. More feasible than time-travel and more accessible than rocket-ships, they have channelled awe and optimism of an exciting future.

Keywords:   science fiction, gaming, fantasy, cinema, television, cartoons, holograms, entertainment, media representations

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