By now you’ve heard of Tu Pac’s holographic appearance at the recent Coachella festival. As one meme says: “Dead for 16 years – gives better performance in 5mins than most of today’s rappers that are alive.”
As my astute co worker wrote on his facebook: “They’ve opened a door to a scary new reality for the music industry to make money, and I really don’t know how I feel about it. I mean, if this is the door opener, where does it go from this point? And more importantly, where does it stop?”
And less than two weeks later, turns out he was right.
We are now hearing about unconfirmed plans for Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre wanting to take the dead rapper on the road. Now Gawker is reporting that the Jackson 4 are contemplating a Michael Jackson hologram to make it 5, and TLC thinking of bringing Left Eye with them on their 2012 reunion tour.
Indeed this is music to the company behind the technology’s ears. “Sanj Surati, head of music at Musion Technology — the tech firm behind Mariah Carey’s seminal multi-city Christmas concert — says he envisions a future where Elvis is co-headlining with Justin Bieber. Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and “maybe even” Whitney Houston, Surati replies when asked which other expired musicians were on Musion’s holographic docket.”
One wonders about a future where the consumer can access Musion style services. Perhaps grandpa can sing “The Green Green Grass Of Home” at his own wake. Or a widow can replay her husbands wedding speech in her living room instead of watching Greys Anatomy with a bowl of ice cream. Ok now this is just getting morbid.
Or is it? I mean we all have photographs and videos of departed love ones, does this just bring those memories to “life” more realistically? The HuffPost poll about whether the Tupac performance was creepy or not had 60% of people saying “Why not! Tupac Lives!”
The Human Truth™ of the Living Vicariously™ wave is: “To me, that was real”™. It’s about experiencing amazing things without having to experience the kind of scary consequences that some “serious thrill seekers” sometimes face. In the case of re-animating our dead in this way – I’m sure that some people would say it may have scary consequences. Guess we’ll find out soon enough!