Mark Andrew: Questions About MJ Hologram "Performance"
by Mark Andrew
posted May 19 2014 12:13PM
The Michael Jackson hologram performance at Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards made a huge splash. The audience went wild and some were even moved to tears. My dear friend Emily Makinzie was also awash in MJ nostalgia. I can easily understand why any Jackson fan could be thrilled at what took place Sunday night. But at the risk of sounding way too serious (it’s possible) I have a few questions.
Because we are able to reproduce stunning three dimensional light images that make it seem as if the dead performer is really alive, does that mean we should?
The hologram technology is amazing, but how far do we want to go with this? Are we headed for a time when a great performer dies then they go on one final tour post-mortem and we sell a bunch of tickets? Are artists going to start performing at their own funerals?
This hologram Michael Jackson “performance” apppears to be a one shot deal which is certainly less creepy than a whole tour. But is it ok for US to engineer new Michael Jackson memories when he’s not here to directly influence what those memories are?
Michael had no say so in the song choice, the lighting, the venue, the choreography or even some of his own movements. Did you know some of Jackson’s movements were edited? Tone Talauega is one of the producers of the hologram. He admits to altering such things as hand movements and the angle of Michael’s head. The performance was "classic Michael, but we put our spice on it," he says. Is that ok? Is it ok to turn the greatest performer of all time in to a string puppet?
My personal feeling is that too many liberties were taken by people who claim to have both the insight and authroity to declare “what Michael would have wanted.” When in reality as complex and unpredictable as Michael was, no one really knows what he would have wanted. Would he have appreciated a team of people, some of whom he never met, taking creative license on a performance deemed to be his? We just don't know.
One last question, then you can tell me if I need to lighten up.
When Michael Jackson died in 2009, millions of us wished for him to rest in peace. Is that still the case or have we changed our tune?