Interview with Senongo Akpem, Creator of HoloHalo | Inverse

Senongo Akpem, HoloHalo, 2016

HoloHalo is a speculative science fiction project and the brainchild of artist Senongo Akpem. The HoloHalo is described as “a holographic communication device that learns and adapts to you. Autonomously project colors and patterns that sync with your mood.” The site provides specs on the software and hardware needed to make your halo work, and gifs model the halo on Afrxdiasporic subjects.

Wowwwwwwww. I’m in love. And I want one. Can you imagine a Purple Lemonade halo? Or the halo around slavery scholars working in the slave ship’s archive or on maroonage?


There is an interview with Senongo Akpem, Creator of HoloHalo in Inverse:

“For HoloHalo, I wanted to speculate on what futuristic technology would look like when used by the types of people that look like me. It’s a part of the world of Afro-futurism. I’m exploring a very specific idea, visualizing expressive communication through tech, and what that means (or could mean) for Africans and members of today’s African Diaspora. Kind of deep, but what sci-fi isn’t?”


“My design process is quite similar to my other projects — lots of drawing and testing the limits of what I can do. There were a few technical challenges that really forced me to buckle down and work out what I wanted to design. It was important to use readily accessible web tech. That meant HTML, CSS, and SVG. I needed it to be animated, so I had to learn quite a bit about SMIL and CSS3 animation, finding a way to standardize all the halo movements in my code.

Finally, it needed to be proudly Black. I’m a Nigerian, born and raised, and it was important for me to show Africans and people of color front and center in this speculative future.”


“Back home in Nigeria, people often wear amazingly colorful clothing, often made from wax print. For nice traditional clothes, it’s still very uncommon to buy off the rack — instead, if you want a new outfit, you choose some fabric and have something custom made. Those bright custom clothes that I grew up wearing and seeing feel like much better candidates for personalized wearable tech than the Dick Tracy wrist phones or Starfleet combadges we are selling currently.”

Read it all: Meet Senongo Akpem, the Real Artist Behind the Fake (and Brilliant) HoloHalo | Inverse


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