By Reva Reeves, John F. Kennedy High School, La Palma, California
Technology in our society is constantly evolving and the latest Coachella concert in Indio, California is a perfect example of how our world is changing once again. This two weekend concert occurred from April 13 to April 15, 2012 and on April 20, 2012 until April 22, 2012. Coachella is legendary for having some of the most famous artists perform every year; such as Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Rihanna, Usher, Tyler the Creator and Eminem. Although these are considered some of the best artists of our time, everyone was talking about one performer in particular: deceased rapper Tupac Shakur.
Tupac didn’t actually come back from the dead, but he did perform onstage looking extremely lifelike. Technology has advanced enough to replicate someone so well that they look like they are actually there. Many have stated that the Tupac performance was a hologram, but in reality it was only a 2D projection of the famous rapper. This projection took more than $400,000 dollars to make and about four months to perfect.
“I thought it was very lifelike,” senior Christian Hernandez said. “I was very impressed with the technology.”
This trick actually dates back to the 1800s where actors would use mirrors to make the projections look like ghosts. The invention has been patented since 1999 by the International Business Times and is used when an angled piece of glass is put on the stage as well as reflected from a projected image onto an enormous invisible screen.
“To be honest I was shocked when I saw him, but in a good way,” senior Phillip Sanchez said, “Even though I knew it was a projection it was still like the real Tupac.”
The most astounding part of this resurrection was the tangibility of the performance. The team that designed the Tupac projection used old footage of the rapper and combined it with his signature movements, creating an extremely life like replica. Onstage with Tupac were Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, two of the main people who helped bring this rapper back to life. Tupac started the performance by welcoming everyone to Coachella, and during the enactment Tupac and Snoop were talking, which added to the charade of the rapper being alive.
“I feel like it’s creepy!” senior Noemi Sesmas said. “I found the performance weird because people are supposed to be at rest when they die. I think it’s disrespectful to deceased people in general. It’s a cool idea, but it could be overused very easily.”
After this performance, a lot has been said about Tupac going on tour again. If he does, he will most likely be performing with other famous rappers including Snoop Dogg, Dre. Dre, 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa, and Eminem. Although this is the first that many are hearing about projections performing, many artists have used this technique in the past. This technology has been used to enhance Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mariah Carey to successfully tour Europe, Celine Dion to perform with Elvis Presley in 2003 on American Idol, and Beyonce to create many projections of herself as backup dancers.
“I think this technology is a good thing. It’s showing how rap has developed over the years, but how it still keeps its roots,” senior Christian Hernandez said.
Some people believe that this technology could take over the music industry; concerts filled with deceased celebrities could open up a whole new realm of possibilities. Others just believe that it is downright creepy, and think that no one should bring back the dead. Regardless of your varying viewpoint, no one can disagree that Tupac’s performance sparked the interest of the world.the original article from hsj.org, written by Reva Reeves