Fragments of a hologram rose: Re-seeing Blade Runner

“The postcard is a white light reflection hologram of a rose […] Holding it carefully between thumb and forefinger, he lowers the hologram toward the hidden rotating jaws. The unit emits a thin scream as steel teeth slash laminated plastic and the rose is shredded into a thousand fragments […] Parker lies in darkness, recalling the thousand fragments of the hologram rose. A hologram has this quality: recovered and illuminated, each fragment will reveal the whole […] from a different angle”
    - Fragments of a Hologram Rose by William Gibson, first published 1977

BR - Esper (new)

This photograph, with its exceptionally rich, ‘Old Masters’ quality, was used in the original film within a film made for the Esper sequence and is still that which Harrison Ford can be seen to place in his mouth when preparing to activate his Esper terminal. It is not, however, the picture that appears on its screen seconds later nor that which Deckard picked up from the piano seconds before or Leon’s apartment a day or so earlier. As a result of the reshoot, the Esper sequence that appears in all known versions of the film was created with master shots of Ford but insert shots of another person playing him handling a different photograph. The Esper machine processing it is also not the same as that in the master shots with Ford. The same replacement image was also inserted into the apartment scene (Cinefex)

BR - Esper Vermeer  (ibiblio.org_

This is Jan Vermeer’s The Love Letter, painted around 1669. The degree to which it matches the original Esper photograph above is astonishing, right down to the shoes on the black and white chequered floor (

BR - Esper Hoogs #1
BR - Esper Hoogs #2

These photographs were shot directly through the two peepholes of van Hoogstraten’s A Peepshow with Views of the Interior of a Dutch House in the National Gallery in London. Again, the similarity of atmosphere compared to the Esper photograph is notable; note the mirror on the wall and the floor, and the room-within-room effects

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