Three-dimensional visual history shows a steady evolution from early stereo viewers to the present day virtual reality displays. This preoccupation is an extension of our living in a three-dimensional world. Recording and studying the complex phenomena of this world has developed and benefited as 3-D technology has evolved.

The word hologram is derived from Greek meaning ‘whole picture’. A hologram creates a real 3-D image by reconstructing the light waves that were reflected from the original scene or object. The recording medium itself can be cut into pieces and each part will continue to contain the whole image. Time is recorded and recreated as in no other medium. Only with holographic techniques can one display accurate projected 3-D light imagery floating in space in front of the hologram with the same perspective, parallax, form and content as the original scene.

These qualities place holography as an important medium in science and in art. Scientists use holographic techniques to perform stress and failure analysis, non-destructive testing, head up data display, and encryption. Designers create commercial applications with rainbow colored diffraction films and imagery of unbelievable realism. Philosophers study holography as a possible model for the universe. Artists drawn to this vibrant light-based medium exhibit compelling and meaningful pieces. As a result a holography network of art journals, exhibition spaces, collectors, advocates, seminars and courses at universities, institutes, and schools have evolved with the medium.

Holography at OSU was started in the 1970's in the electrical engineering department by Stuart Collins. It was taught in Physics by Harris Kagan beginning in 1985. Harris Kagan and Susan Dallas-Swann in Art have collaborated in teaching holography to students since 1987 as a means of creating interdisciplinary ideas between science and art. Holography is now a required course in Art and Technology, Department of Art and available to students university wide.