MIA and Janelle Monáe to perform duet as holograms

MIA Bad Girls

Appearing in New York and Los Angeles, both singers will join forces as part of an Audi promotional campaign

MIA and Janelle Monáe will perform a live duet – as would-be holograms. Appearing on Thursday in New York and Los Angeles respectively, each performer will be beamed to their counterpart's concert for the debut of a new collaboration with car-maker Audi.

The smoke and mirrors is part of an Audi promotional campaign that uses technology similar to the 2012 appearances of the late rapper Tupac Shakur as a hologram at Coachella festival. After MIA performs a solo set in the Big Apple (projected to a venue in LA) and Monáe plays a solo gig in LA (projected to MIA's stage in New York), both artists will interact with each other's holograms, premiering a pair of previously unheard duets.

"The set utilises 3D projection mapping to add layered depth of field perception with animated graphic content," Audi said in a statement, "the result of which will be an electric never-before-seen 3D bicoastal performance."

If these concerts use the same techniques as Coachella's version of Tupac, the sci-fi simulacra of MIA and Monáe will not technically be holograms. Tupac appeared using a combination of CGI and an optical trick known as Pepper's ghost. Similar illusions have been used at events featuring the Gorillaz, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and former US vice president Al Gore.

Last month, billionaire Alki David announced plans to "tour the world" with a hologram of the late Amy Winehouse. He had allegedly been negotiating with the singer's managers to "bring something the world craved: closeness with the beloved artist and her voice". Following opposition from Mitch Winehouse, the singer's father, David apparently called off his plans. "I have no desire to cause [the Winehouse] family any duress, and have withdrawn all offers to the family to make this happen," he told TV Mix.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Sean Michaels, for theguardian.com on Thursday 3rd April 2014 08.26 Europe/London

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