The Hologram: An open-source, peer-to-peer, viral social technology for dehabituating humans from capitalism
The following is a short course to prepare us to become holograms, which is to say to develop and practice The Hologram as a method of organized social care and collective liberation. In a world where caring is criminalized when not performed by the proper authorities, while racial capitalism ensures that everyone is a little sick, we need pirate practices that do not comply with the for-profit, nationalist, carceral healthcare systems . This peer to peer practice offers a structured set of instructions for how to distribute the labour of care and to reveal that everyone is a healer and can be healed. We can produce health with stuff we have, hidden in plain sight. It is a pirate practice in that it is proactive and disobedient, it is a formalization of what people already know what to do– it just gives us permission and helps us remember how . It does so with a wish to create a network of healthy and cooperative people who can use their collective power to demolish capitalism and to build a new world. This curriculum is the residue of a four-part Hologram workshop designed and delivered once per week by Cassie Thornton and Lita Wallis online with a group of 28 participants from around the world in April 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown. These texts are currently used in all of our ongoing Hologram training courses, and anyone who is interested in the project or course is welcome to read and work with these materials. The objective of the past, present and future Hologram courses is to create a laboratory to experiment with building social and communicative skills and practices that would be useful to starting and maintaining a Hologram. The group practices specific verbal and somatic communication skills and experiments with vulnerability, trust and cooperation, all contextualized in a theoretical framework. Throughout each course, all participants attempt to use the personal pronoun “we” when describing their own or another person’s experiences, thoughts or feelings.
New patterns for a post-capitalist now
At its broadest and most ambitious scale The Hologram is intended as an open-source, peer-to-peer, viral social technology for dehabituating humans from capitalism. Capitalism is not only an economic system, it’s a cultural and social system as well, which deeply influences how we relate to one another, how we interact, how we imagine ourselves and one another, even how we talk and feel. The Hologram relies on us disentangling ourselves from capitalism’s influence, and that of white supremacy, colonialism, (cis hetero) patriarchy and other systems of domination, and it also helps us in this untangling. For this reason, in addition to the social practices involved in forming groups of four and doing the work of “social holography,” The Hologram is also a delivery mechanism for ideas about how we can reinvent our world by developing new daily habits that incorporate radical re-interpretations of these four themes: Trust, wishes, time and patterns. The following is an abbreviated set of materials from the April workshop to help readers reflect on and transform their habits and approaches to these important themes. This is meant to be group work, but we are alone right now, so we hope that these ideas and practices may inspire or contribute to how we already imagine and organize our care labor. Each unit includes a brief series of reflections as well as several exercises we can do to prepare for practicing the Hologram model in the future.
A note on terminology
The Hologram refers to the project as a whole, whereas a Hologram (capitalized but not italicized) names a group of four people, made up of the hologram (not capitalized) who receives the care of a triangle of three people. This wording is intentionally ambiguous as it aims to sensitize us to the fluid boundaries between us.