Sunday, November 24, 2013

sampling the dead

Lindsay Zoladz at Pitchfork on ghost MCs - i.e. hologram-based projections of deceased rap stars such as 2Pac, Ol Dirty Bastard, and Eazy E


"Amidst the soft, productive chatter of clicks and keystrokes, he makes near-imperceptible tweaks to ODB's face. “It’s a constant process of getting the skin texture right, the pores, the lips. It’s something you can keep working on forever,” he tells me with an exasperated laugh. “How close can you get to what God was trying to do?”....


"A Swedish designer is developing a product called Global Chef, which would let companionless people prepare and eat meals with (yes, I swear) hologram projections of their loved ones"

except it's not really sampling the dead or digital reanimation but a complicated fakesimile...

".... While the projection’s digital assets are informed by photos and videos of the deceased artists, they are not, as some people think, archived footage of the performers, but instead original composites generated from motion-capture shoots. Eazy-E's shoot was overseen by his widow Tomica Wright, and his “hologram” is actually a composite of his three children (all of whom are rappers themselves): Eric Jr. (Lil Eazy-E) acted as the body double, Derrick (E3) provided the voice, and Erin—who bears a particularly striking resemblance to her father—lip synced Eazy’s lines to provide the facial capture. The audio and motion capture for ODB’s asset, on the other hand, was solely provided by his son Young Dirty Bastard—his dad’s spitting image in name and attitude. All of which means that these particular holograms were not so much the work of sorcery or Frankenstein-ian corpse reanimation (“To create a completely synthetic human being is the most complicated thing that can be done” is something a person actually had to clarify to the Wall Street Journal immediately after 2Pac’s performance) but more like the 21st-century version of Lisa Marie playing tribute to her dad by dressing up like an Elvis impersonator."
a fakesimile that isn't even playing that well with the punters....

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