Hatsune Miku, posthuman pop star

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17 Responses to “Hatsune Miku, posthuman pop star”

  1. Joshua Ochs says:

    Minor correction – Miku, not Miko. And now off to the article…

  2. Reverend Loki says:

    Ever since I first saw that they were doing this, I wanted someone to use it to make a “live” Gorillaz show…

  3. rocketpjs says:

    Once again William Gibson is shown to be about 10 years ahead of the curve.

  4. Lupus_Yonderboy says:

    Best part of the Wired article?  Comments…oh, the comments…

    • blueelm says:

      All the argument is very strange if you are an unsuccessful musician with a lifetime of songs. 
      I don’t get what there is to argue about though? To me there is no difference between a manufactured pop star with a human body owned primarily by a record company, and a manufactured pop star who is LITERALLY manufactured and cooperatively owned by fans.

      Actually, now that I think of it the latter sounds more human.

      All that said… the sound… the sound.

    • Hamfisted says:

      I read the article, thought it was pretty good, particularly compared
      to some others I’ve read. Then bam, the very first comment is a long angry rant by a hyper sensitive fan who perceives slights where there are none. Some fans seem to think anything short of glowing adulation is an attack on what they like. I thought it was even more bizarre that they thought the writer was a mundane when he actually dropped a boatload of hints that he’s an otaku too.

  5. eldritch says:

    I’d hardly call this “posthuman”. Rather, the key behavior at work is a rather ancient human act – anthropomorphization.

    When you build a machine and ascribe it human characteristics, you aren’t actually making the machine more “human” in any way. You’re simply building up a convenient self deception. By fooling ourselves into accepting a machine as human, or as nearly human, we trigger our own hardwired social responses. If a machine “smiles”, we physiologically respond to that visual, ascribing an emotional state to an object which can possess none, and we respond ourselves as if the emotion was genuine rather than imagined.

    “Hatsune Miku” is a jointly accepted avatar for what is essentially collaborative human creative efforts. It’s a symbolic representation of both a specific set of software, and the interactions between users of said software to produce music and visuals.

    In a way, it’s very much akin to concepts such as “Justice” being blind, or to “Lady Luck” granting her favor. The underlying reality is complex and difficult to comprehend quickly or fully, so a symbol is used in place of the full concept: a shorthand stand-in which is simpler and more relatable. Justice goes from being a convoluted social construct that exists as an abstract collaborative agreement of sorts, to being a human figure which interacts with out most basic communal instincts. We translate from the language of a complex system into the language of human interaction. A beautiful, powerful, blind woman easily evokes certain responses in us, as humans – while complicated laws, legal proceedings, debates, and arguments typically do not, and even when they do it is over a much greater period of time.

    Is the phenomenon of interactive social symbolic gestalt, which Hatsune Miku respresents, an interesting topic? Sure, in its own way. But it isn’t posthuman, and it needs to be properly understood as such.

  6. Daemonworks says:

    Also related – the Japanese idol group AKB48 has a virtual member that appears to be a computer generated amalgamation of some of it’s human members. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh_BC_HU_lk

  7. benher says:

    Crypton Future Media has done very little if anything to interfere with Miku and her fans and as a result NicoNico (Japan’s unique youTube-ish counterpart) became the petri dish for her cultural growth. Mutations, Remixes, and Mythos have proliferated and Miku is now as much a cultural icon as her human counterparts. What makes Miku so amazing is the fact that she is powered by a strong community of dedicated creative communities – all composed of very real human beings. 

    Though elaborating would require an entire article, I personally feel that IP holders in the US could learn a lot from CFM’s stance on Miku and the usage of her character/mythos instead of firing a spray of lawsuit bullets at their own fans. 

  8. Lodewijk Gonggrijp says:

    Strangeness and weirdness aside, the vocaloid software has actually been used to make some really good songs. 
    It turns out there are a lot of people who know good music but just needed a ‘voice’ to sing for them.
    It is worth the effort to check it out.

    This is a personal favourite of mine:
    Megurine Luka – Tower 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OL7HVacvac&hd=1

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