Now holograms for the people who don’t exist in the space or time
Michael Jackson’s “performance” as a hologram at last night’s Billboard Music Awards caused mixed reactions — and for good reason. But while this might look like the future of posthumous performances, the technique itself is about five centuries old.
The projection of Jackson was materialised on a golden throne for launching the performance of “Slave to the Rhythm”.
There was “Moon Walking”, There were “Taped Fingers”, There were “Dancing Paramilitary Cyborgs”<– We don’t know why.
Jackson’s appearance is just another is the another of series of musicians both living and dead, which have there images projected on stage for live performances. Tupac Shakur’s hologram at 2012’s Coachella festival. The likeness was created by visual-effects studio Digital Domain, which reportedly took four months to create the projection of the rapper at a cost of up to $400,000.
Janelle Monáe and M.I.A were able to share a stage in April, even though the artists were 3,000 miles apart, while deceased rappers Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E made hologramatic appearances at concerts in 2013.
But it’s not just musician’s, Recently elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi used it to make appearances in hundreds of rallies across the country.
Japan’s Hatsun meeku is an entirely digital creation including voice and all.
It’s not actually a Hologram, the way we picture it in science fiction like Star Wars and on technical papers. The technique is called pepper ghosts, which dates back to the 16th century. So the delusion is not a new invention. It has just recently had a lot of resurrect celebrities and musicians.
But on the other, Jackson was infamously particular about his live shows, from the costume and the staging to the setlist and choreography. The star’s two posthumous albums have been divisive among fans, and a live show with zero MJ input would be like rubbing salt in the wound.
It’s inevitable that this technology will start to play a larger role in live music. Ever since a Tupac hologram stunned the crowd at Coachella back in 2012, there have been numerous reports of other deceased stars making a stage comeback using the illusion.
A one-off spectacle can serve as a tribute to the immeasurable talent Jackson gave the world, but would a tour be disrespectful to a career left behind in the hands of others?
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