Lana Blum is a holographic artist who often researches complex systems and/or emerging technologies as a direct approach to Design in the 21st Century. Inspired by contemporary materials, nature, technology, and sustainable products.

Holographic artwork is also a prime interest for Lana, who has shown her own in various venues across the United States, including at the HoloCenter on Governors Island. Via an exclusive interview, Lana discussed her career as a researcher and artist, creating holograms, and more.

Artistic abilities, holograms, and sculptures

Meagan Meehan (MM): When did you first discover your artistic abilities and why do you gravitate towards sculpture?

Lana Blum (LB): I spent most of my nights drawing since I was a young child. It didn’t matter if I had school the next morning, something much stronger was inside of me which had to manifest in the outside creation. It was beyond my control. When I was sixteen years old, I decided to become an artist. I started to take private classes, and two years later I applied to the University of Applied Arts Vienna to study Industrial Design. I loved sculptures and installations because of their immersive experience. I decided to study design because I was always fascinated by science and technology - for me, design and sculpting was the same.

My university was encouraging us to blend a lot of the art forms together and letting go of labels - my design education was really experimental.

MM: What inspires you artistically and what mediums have you worked with?

LB: My inspiration comes from science, astronomy, nature, and our own being. I’m fascinated by our cosmos, the meaning, and the formulas behind the creation of the universe.

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I search for connections between science and philosophy to create a better understanding of our world. Recently my journey went into my own microcosm, and I looked inside of myself by studying chakras and their frequencies and how they influence our body and well-being.

As a digital artist, my medium is not defined at the beginning of the creational process, and I love to try new materials all the time.

So far, I have been working with 3D printed nylon, PLA, ABS, bronze, stainless steel and precious metals for jewelry. As for laser cutting and 3D milling, I use MDA and wood with a lacquer finish and the new addition since a year were the holograms.

MM: How did you discover holograms and how did you decide that you definitely wanted to work with this particular medium?

LB: The holographic technology has been advancing through the recent years - I learned that I could use my 3D models to make holograms and I was intrigued immediately by the idea of seeing my artwork in 3D.

MM: What is it about holography that most interests you?

LB: I love the transcendental feeling it gives me - I see myself entering a parallel universe which is similar to ours, but the rules are different.

The Holocenter and the Aminimal collective

MM: How and when did you discover the HoloCenter and what have your experiences exhibiting work there been like?

LB: I discovered the HoloCenter through the Artist in Residency program. I was looking into a possible collaboration after my discovery of the new 3D hologram technology while working on the Celestial Ballerina Series. I loved my time during the residency - the environment on Governors Island gave me an opportunity to distance myself from the busy life in NYC and concentrate fully on my work. Working with my curator Martina was incredible - she gave me all the artistic freedom with no limitations and a gentle guidance when I needed it.

MM: What is the "Aminimal" collective you have founded and can you explain a bit about it?

LB: Growing up in Vienna I studied Freudian and later Jungian psychology which brought my interest to Eastern philosophy of Zen Buddhism and Taoism - the simple way of life. I started to work with light and minimal art installations inspired by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Yves Klein. Aminimal comes from the word “minimalism” and, based on this word, it includes it but also denies it at the same time, which is a metaphor for the illusion of duality in our physical world. Art can be complex on the outside but contains the simplicity in its philosophy.

MM: Be honest, out of all the artwork that you have created, do you have a favorite?

LB: Honestly at the moment I love the Celestial Ballerina Series the most because it keeps on evolving and gives me the opportunity to reinvent myself because of its potential and storyline.

My favorite of the Hologram Series is “Heart.”

MM: What sorts of responses have you received from viewers of your art and, so far, what have been the most memorable experience of your career?

LB: Most of the people are fascinated by the 3D scanning technology and the holograms as a medium adds another incredible layer of experience. My philosophy of combining the transcendental element of the dancers which are embodiments of our chakras and vibrations creates a deeper meaning beyond science which makes a lot of people wonder about themselves and the depth of our experience as conscious human beings in our physical bodies. One of my most memorable experiences I had when I met Diana. Her energy and presence in the room was tangible.

I realized first time how artists felt about their inspirations and muses.

MM: Creatively, what current projects are you working on and is there anything else that you wish to talk about?

LB: I have been continuing to work with frequency patterns in my work “Awakening Vibrations” which generates randomly selected patterns on wood by using the laser cutter. Each piece is unique through this work approach. My recent interest and a new project is called the “Cosmic Dance of Planets” inspired by the Musica Universalis philosophy. I take patterns from the planetary movements like Venus, Mars, and Earth and using them as a base for my artwork.