As many of you might have heard by now, this past Sunday night at the Coachella music festival, Tupac Shakur was resurrected via holographic technology. He took the stage in front of an estimated audience of a hundred thousand people. The company that pulled off the feat, Digital Domain, has been making Hollywood magic for years. Their technological prowess was never a question, particularly given their track record. But did they go over the line with this most recent display?
Coachella is known for being an incredibly innovative musical atmosphere. Huge bands and small indie bands fill the stages every year. Band reunions are also a major facet of the festival. But this was a reunion of a different kind and for some festival goers, turned it into a creepy experience. Even those that knew about it beforehand, since the news had been leaked, were still relatively unprepared for the reality of having Tupac come onto stage, addressing the Coachella audience directly. Nor were they adequately prepared to watch him perform alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
While this was an amazing public relations stunt, for some fans it may have been too much. The visual of a man who’s been deceased for over a decade bordered on the macabre. At what point does technology become too invasive? While creating a video starring Natalie Cole and her long-deceased father singing a duet was a sweet bit of nostalgia, it was also hailed as a landmark in technology.
When does technological resurrection become exploitation? While honoring the dead is fine, exploiting them for the sake of financial gain is a distasteful action. What do you think of the Tupac hologram? Would you have been disturbed by this?
Here’s the video. Warning: explicit language.