Technological advances are constantly occurring at an incredibly rapid rate. As soon as one advance is made, the search for the next great advance is on – and is usually made easier and faster by the one that just occurred (I use easier and faster here knowing quite well that it is not actually “easy” or “fast” – a lot of hard work and hours are put into every new gadget or advancement).
It wasn’t too long ago that the internet was fairly new, laptops were expensive and slow, cell phones were big and bulky (and certainly didn’t have the internet or apps), and televisions were big tubes being broadcast with mediocre quality. It’s now hard to imagine a world without iphones and droids where constant internet access is at your fingertips (ok – I can imagine it, because I don’t have a smart phone…), ipads and tablets fit into purses and bags (nope – don’t have one of those either), and we can watch television in HD quality (yes – I do have that, though I don’t currently have cable…).
One advancement in technology that was billed as a big deal happened back during the 2008 presidential election coverage. CNN, in its ever-present quest to have the most (and most unnecessary) bells and whistles to augment their news coverage, announced that they had a huge surprise up their sleeve. This turned out to be the first hologram image on television.
Pretty cool, right? Well, the concept is cool, but let’s be honest – could they have done anything more boring or unnecessary than show us a holograph image of a reporter that we could have just seen on screen? They basically created a live image of her reporting and turned that into a hologram.
Well, regardless, we at least found out the technology was there.
Now, here’s the really cool and impressive thing that just happened a few days ago at the 2012 Coachella music festival…
Tupac was resurrected. Through hologram, of course.
Tupac’s life (how/when/if it ended) has always had some lore around it, so the fact this technology was used to bring him back on stage to perform with Snoop Dogg was a brilliant idea. The quality and life-like essence, made this brilliant idea almost eery – again, especially with the cloud of mystery and uncertainty that had already been tied to Tupac’s death.
It truly looks like Tupac was onstage, and the fact that Snoop came on and was “interacting” with him made it look even more authentic…
Brilliant idea. Well done. Pristine quality.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the people in attendance were blown away and completely awed (and probably a little confused or freaked out) by Tupac’s “performance.”
But one of the most interesting things for me (and in brief conversation with a friend) is the consequence of this performance. Where do we go from here??
What does this do to our concept of live music?
Will/should we bring back other individuals or bands to “perform” and if so, who?
Will there now be simultaneous performances with the artist in one location but also being “hologrammed in” (I made that up) live to other venues where people would pay to watch?
These are some of the initial questions that have come to mind and that are interesting to think about moving forward with this kind of technology. Sorry CNN, but your titillating coverage of the election didn’t quite wow me or get me thinking in quite the same way as this recent performance at Coachella (plus, I didn’t have a blog four years ago to write about it)…
What’s your take on any of these questions or any other consequences this may bring about? (For movie, theatre, performance, etc.)