MAGIC MOVING IMAGES DAZZLE IN FAIR EXHIBITIONS

by MICHAEL GARDNER
MAY 27, 1990 – CHICO ENTERPRISE-RECORD



Magical moving 3-D color images on a piece of paper no thicker than a regular photograph.

Sound impossible?

It's not, and the incredible evidence is now on exhibit at the Silver Dollar Fair.

Holograms are moving, laser-light created three-dimensional images with limitless art and commercial applications.

"It's a chance to see the future," says Marin County's Jeff Allen, a pioneer in the holographic field and who is curating the fair show.

But, some are here today: on cereal boxes featuring Tony the Tiger cards, on our credit cards for easier use and protection against counterfeiting, and on magazine covers of National Geographic.

"It's such an open field. It's a new reality. We're still defining what it is," Allen said.

The free exhibit of holographic art and commercial use is in the armory building and is open throughout the course of the fair, which runs through Monday night.

Allen says a problem viewers have with holography is they see it too much like photography.

What they are really seeing is light that changes as they move, he said.

In a pocketbook he wrote to explain the art of holography, Allen calls the images "magic windows," and for good reason.

The image is created by using laser beams exposing an object onto a piece of film thinner than a regular photograph. The collision of the two light beams creates the image.

"You're seeing exactly the same light as if it were there," Allen said.

Allen has staged a show filled with a variety of images to explore.

Explore is the right word, because some of the holograms are so complex that you can lose some of the image if you don't look carefully.

For example, one image is of a simple door and keyhole. But, if you peek through the keyhole, you'll see an eyeball looking right back at you.

When moving, he viewer can see the images also move. For example, in one a train backs into a tunnel. Another is an image of a television that is actually showing moving pictures.

Another example of movement can be seen in crystal balls that slowly spin. Inside the ball are moving images, like a woman who winks and blows a kiss. In the same ball is another image of a waving cowboy.

In other holograms, the art literally leaps right out at you and is also participatory.