Has anyone else noticed a bit of a morbid fascination across the World Wide Web recently? It seems that modern life has become so saturated with the digital experience that we’re now trying to extend it into the afterlife.
Life Goes On for Tupac
3D holographic projection company Musion Systems Ltd brought Tupac Shakur back to life for a performance at this year’s Coachella festival. A hologram of the rapper performed alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to thousands of music fans in Indio, California. Dre and Snoop were able to interact with the deceased Tupac as if he were there in the flesh. But the performance has divided opinion. In a post after the appearance MTV’s senior writer James Montgomery voiced his concerns.
“Tupac died in 1996 and Coachella didn’t start until 1999, which means that someone basically had to record that dialogue for him, which is kind of troubling… It’s basically putting words in the deceased’s mouth.”
Nevertheless, the criticism hasn’t deterred the Musion team. Head of music Sanj Surati said he would like work on more holograms in the future.
“Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, oh and Michael Jackson would be the ultimate one. Maybe even Whitney Houston.”
Who wants to live forever?
But the digital afterlife isn’t just reserved for the rich and famous. A new service, which was launched at this month’s The Next Web Conference, allows users to send messages from beyond the grave. DeadSocial is a social network that gets to work after your death. Users create a private calendar of posts, which will only be shared to their social networks when they die. The idea is that you can say your last goodbyes and continue to communicate with loved ones once you’re gone.
Rest In Peace
I have to admit, when I first read about DeadSocial I presumed it was some sort of late April Fool’s or a statement about our current obsession with our lives online (I’m still half expecting someone to shout ‘gotcha!’). As for the holograms, I have to agree with Mr. Montgomery. It doesn’t sit comfortably with me. As much as I am a champion for the digital age in this life, I don’t think I’ll be carrying on the role after it.