Still Be Here – A Performance / Installation with Hatsune Miku

A giant video triptych sets the stage for virtual pop idol Hatsune Miku, who appears center stage as a 3D hologram projected onto an Dilat-film screen. The stunning meld of hyperreal animation, subtle dance performance, documentary-like interludes, and original score and live sound processing by critically-acclaimed producer Laurel Halo is topped by Miku’s ethereal, unfaltering voice. This unique performance / installation is now available for shows worldwide.

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.

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 premiered as a joint highlight of the CTM / transmediale 2016 festivals before traveling to Donaufestival in April 2016. It will also be shown at the Barbican in London in Autumn 2016. The work was commissioned by CTM Festival and transmediale in collaboration with Donaufestival, Barbican, and Metal Liverpool.

This work features adaptations of Hatsune Miku © Crypton Future Media, Inc. Hatsune Miku is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC. Still Be Here is a non-profit production, organized independently from Crypton Future Media.


"It's a warping of the boundaries between technology, artist, identity and commerce" — Luke Turner, The Quietus

"Unlike the stadium pop of Miku’s tours, where thousands of fans wave glow sticks at the tiny projection on stage, Still Be Here choreographed micro-dance moves amidst Laurel Halo’s shifting score, which would have been at home in a Berlin club at the end of a dreamy night." — Hannah Gregory, Post Matter

"As the show progressed it explored the personification of the immaterial; the unsettling concepts of obsession, adoration and idolisation of such a fictional character. It’s uncomfortable but fascinating." – David March, 1883 magazine

"The innocent joy of so much of her online existence was sidelined in favour of something much more knotty and unsettling." – David Smyth, Evening Standard

"Still Be Here is Hatsune’s MTV Unplugged session." — Kristy Choi, Bpigs