Published On: Sat, Apr 21st, 2012

TUPAC – Risen From The Dead

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On April 15th, Tupac Shakur was revived in the form of a hologram to perform a few songs at Coachella. Off course, this kind of stuff has been going on in Japan for years. However, after reading reactions to the performance and future plans for holographic artists, I got interested to check it out.

TUPAC Hologram

2Pac was more than a rapper signed to record label. He was an iconic character that represented an entire generation. He did not just record songs and act cool in music videos. He spoke out about issues, he brought to light the reality of America’s underprivileged, he even called out crooked cops and politicians. He did not only sing gimmicky singles to sell records, he said what was on his mind – and what was on many other people’s minds.

However, although he had a kind of “larger-than-life” aura surrounding him (which only amplified after his death) 2Pac was very human. Like all of us, he had strengths, weaknesses and emotions. And he was not afraid to show them. He could rap about gangster street life and, in the next song, rap about how he loved his mama. In interviews, he could be either loud, cocky and arrogant or soft spoken, smart and insightful. Like many compelling artists, the were many sides to him, like there are many sides to all of us. All of his sides were apparent because, unlike most record industry artists, he was real.

Sadly, that hologram at Coachella, wasn’t.

But there are now talks of bringing this 2Pac hologram on tour and making a bunch of money off it. Even worse, there are talks of bringing other artists back from the dead like Jimi Hendrix and…Kurt Cobain.

Here’s a video of the performance.

Pretty impressive I have to admit, but sad also. Although it was somewhat interesting to see a 2Pac on stage in 2012, witnessing a dead person artificially re-animated and controlled by unseen programmers felt wrong. 2Pac was anything but an empty shell controlled by unseen programmers…but that’s all this performance is. Fake!

Maybe those behind the 2Pac hologram did it with good intentions. Maybe it was even done out of love and respect for him. But it wasn’t 2Pac and therefor it didn’t feel right.

Here’s the real deal.

I know I’ve been advocating holographic performances in the past like the airport stewards at Luton London, or the holographic fashion show designed by Tim Jockel. Also I was excited to hear of the Pirate Bay’s project to offer 3D-print documents – Physibles, and the Smithsonian project to digitize their huge art collection and make it available for 3D printing. I love that stuff, and with these ‘objects’ I have no problem them not being authentic or original. With human ‘originals’ however, especially the unique one’s like 2Pac, I do.

Cause we all know what peeps like Walt Disney with their animated holograms of the legends of Hercules, Pocahontas, or Aladdin did with ‘authenticity’ and ‘truth’ do we?

(2048)
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About the Author

- As a creative strategist I work on complex (digital) communications issues for international industry leading companies, organizations and agencies. I'm interested in how technology integrates with (and influences) traditional marketing, media, human behavior, society and culture.

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