Posted: June 11, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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At this year’s Coachella music festival, slain rapper Tupac Shakur was resurrected for a performance with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Projected as a two-dimensional image, abs still ripped in the pixilated afterlife, Virtual ’Pac alternately dazzled and freaked out the crowd 15 years after his shooting. Forget keeping it real; thug life just got surreal. Kind of creepy but not exactly cutting-edge: Hologram Tupac was actually a 19th-century magic trick called Pepper’s Ghost, an image projected onto glass tilted 45 degrees. Pepper’s Gangsta, if you will, was flashed in high definition on Mylar, but it’s basically the same wizardry used by local community theaters for spectral castmembers. Which prompts the question: Who’s more street—Jacob Marley’s ghost or Tupac Shakur? ’Pac might be the baddest projection out there, but he’s neither the first nor the most audaciously futuristic. The latter distinction belongs to Japan’s virtual pop star Hatsune Miku, a digital-android pixie in aquamarine pigtails and knee-high boots. She performs via basically the same technology as Tupac, with flesh-and-blood musicians as her backup band. Since 2009, the Japanese-pop divatar has performed shows in her native land, as well as a Los Angeles debut at the Nokia Theater during the 2011 Anime Expo. In March, she sold 10,000 tickets for $76 a pop in Tokyo. Her most viewed clip on YouTube, in which she sings her megahit “World Is Mine,” has gotten more than 15 million hits. (via I Sing the Body Electric – LA Times Magazine)


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