What a time to be alive! Japanese digital pop star Hatsune Miku is heading out on her first tour of North America this spring, and yesterday, the pigtailed hologram was the centerpiece of a performance and art installation in Berlin called Still Be Here. Scored by experimental producer Laurel Halo, conceptualized by Mari Matsutoya, and created in collaboration with choreographer Darren Johnston, digital artist Martin Sulzer, and virtual artist LaTurbo Avedon, the installation premiered at Berlin’s CTM Festival last night. On Facebook, Laurel Halo described the piece as a combination of “bespoke pop concert elements (choreography, set design), songs with reworked lyrics from 1M+ viewed songs, a lyrical montage of corporations who have had the pleasure of her company as a mascot, fan love letters, select interviews, and more,” and according to the festival’s description:
Still Be Here explores Hatsune Miku as the crystallisation of collective desires, embodied in the form of a teal-haired virtual idol, forever 16. In watching the deconstruction of this perfect star, the audience comes to the uncanny realisation that Miku is simply an empty vessel onto which we project our own various fantasies. In this void, the topology of desire within a networked community becomes tangible and Miku becomes an allegory of the commodified female body as governed by corporate regulation and normative social etiquette. The performance critically deconstructs this body and speculates on opportunities to transgress it through means of appropriation.
Watch some footage from the installation below. It will be performed at the festival again tonight, and it’ll also be taken to Austria’s Donaufestival and London’s Barbican in the next few months.
— Barry Threw (@barrythrew) February 6, 2016
Watch a trailer for the installation below.