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EXHIBITS : HOLOGRAM : ‘Time of Light’ : An exhibit will invite viewers to become participants, not just observers.

Traditional museum-goers are in for a few surprises at the hologram exhibit starting tomorrow at the Conejo Valley Art Museum.

Titled “The Time of Light Has Come,” the exhibit will feature the work of Fred Unterseher in the form of non-representational pieces measuring 20 inches by 24 inches. These pieces, described by their creator as looking like “windows in space,” will allow the observer to become a participant in a “direct experience of light and sound.”

Holograms are basically three-dimensional photographs made with lasers. The technology has been in use since 1947, when British scientist Dennis Gabor developed it while working with an electron microscope. Gabor coined the term hologram from the Greek “ holos ,” meaning whole, and “ gramma ,” meaning message.

Unterseher’s involvement began 18 years ago when he was a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition to being an art instructor at Pasadena City College, he has founded a school of holography and is the author of the “Holography Handbook” (now a standard text on holography). In the past 10 years, he has had holographic exhibits throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. Describing his goal as “bridging the gap between art and technology,” he muses that by doing this “you get criticized by people on both sides.”

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Although holography has many highly technical uses from aircraft windscreen systems to supermarket scanners and credit card illustrations, the exhibit scheduled for the Conejo Valley Art Museum is strictly artistic and experiential. The pieces on display invite the viewer to become an active participant rather than just an observer as he moves through light and space.

According to Ginger Worthley, director of the art museum, the exhibit will offer people “a new way to look at reality, if they are truly open to the experience.”

The exhibit will run through July 8. Fred Unterseher will lecture on holograms in general and his own work in particular at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

* The Details: “The Time of Light Has Come,” a hologram exhibit, is scheduled for the Conejo Valley Art Museum at 191 W. Wilbur Road in Thousand Oaks. For further information, call 373-0054.

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