Commissioned by CTM Festival and transmediale for their joint 2016 editions, Still Be Here is a unique collaborative performance that draws us into the multiplying realities of a 21st century pop star, and traces the dynamics at play between fans, corporations and social desires.
“I want you to remake me. I sing and exist only for you.”
Since her 2007 launch in Japan, Hatsune Miku (whose name means “first sound of the future”) has become the ultimate pop star, developed from a vocal synthesizer product into a globally adored and collaboratively constructed cyber celebrity with a growing user community, countless stadium performances as a virtual 3D projection and more than 100 000 songs released worldwide.
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.
Following an idea initiated and conceptualised by artist Mari Matsutoya, Still Be Here is collectively created with music producer Laurel Halo, award-winning choreographer and visual artist Darren Johnston, virtual artist LaTurbo Avedon and produced by digital artist Martin Sulzer. This project presents a unique arrival of aesthetics between the participating artists, in their search for the identity of Hatsune Miku. The performance / installation employs a collage methodology with user-generated lyrics, referencing many other contributors and countless online authors and creative commons users, whose works will be further interpreted and given new meaning.
Still Be Here was in part developed at a residency at Metal this November 2015, and will premiere as a joint highlight of the CTM / transmediale 2016 festivals before travelling to Donaufestival and the Barbican later in the year.