Since #hologram is a trending topic, let…

Since #hologram is a trending topic, let me talk a bit more about another famous hologram star.

This is Hatsune Miku. Created in 2007, she is a completely digital hologramatic pop star. Even her voice is entirely synthesized! In fact, she was built by voice synthesis company Crypton to showcase their Vocaloid technology. Crypton conceived of Hatsune Miku as "An android diva in the near-future world where songs are lost."

Okay, the music is awful and should have probably stayed lost, but Hatsune Miku has attracted thousands of fans to concerts every year, including shows in the United states. The shows are largely supported by the vibrant #vocaloid community. Since Hatsune Miku's voice is entirely synthesized, the songs she performs are largely written by her fans, who have built programs for both song writing and dancing, and can completely control the performance of the hologram. Wikipedia says that in 2011, her fans had written over 22,000 songs for her.. That community is influential enough that I'm sure you've heard one of its more famous songs: Hatsune Miku is also the voice behind Nyan Cat!

Maybe you don't find this terribly interesting, but this is a pretty good window into Digital Culture, and its worth paying some attention. For one thing, it shows a pretty striking contrast to the way holograms are treated in the States. Undead Tupac at Coachella and the novelty uses on cable news shows both treat holograms as somewhere between a joke and a spectacle, to be dangled out before the massed who they've already drugged up on ecstasy or politics; but it is dangled coyly, always concealing the wizards behind the curtain. In Japan, however, their holograms are literally singing the songs written by its communities of enthusiasts. There, everyone involved knows exactly who is pulling the strings and how, or when they don't it is a scandal that everyone is implicated in. This is a pop star that is run by the consensus of the crowd, and unlike mere mortal pop stars she doesn't crack under the pressure. Hatsune Miku is no mere mortal; as Donna Haraway would say, she's made of sunshine.

If you'd like to know more about the Vocaloid community, I hope +Victoria Rose can fill us in [nsfw, obviously]

CV01 Hatsune Miku – World is Mine Live in Tokyo, Japan – 1080p HD

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