Image and credit: Salon
The past is indeed the past, but if New Dimensions in Testimony sets a precedent, future exhibitions could find themselves infused with a new lease on life.
The collaborative effort, currently being developed through the efforts of USC Shoah Foundation and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, along with Conscience Display, features the projections of a Holocaust survivors. The hologram individuals will respond to questions about their experiences during the terrible time.
Using the Institute’s innovative Light Stage Software, these representations mimic living people, who can engage fellow humans in conversation. The ultimate goal would be to set up shows in which these figures of the past can communicate, as actively as possible, with students, or members of the public, who wish to learn more about a bygone period. It will come in especially useful once all survivors of particular historical events have passed away.
According to the associate director of the Institute, which has contributed work to Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar, it’s “clear that this [technology] will happen” — perhaps in as little as one to five years, if an AP report is to be believed.
The project could also set the standard for groundbreaking future developments. An extremely realistic Tupac Shakur hologram took to the stage at 2012′s Coachella music festival but New Dimensions can take this tech to new levels. As Stephen Smith, the Shoah Institute’s Executive director, noted, “This takes it one step further as far as you won’t be projecting onto a screen, you’ll be projecting into space.”