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Miku: The Open-Source Girl Who Conquered the World

#sxsw #sxswmiku

Five years. A dozen social media platforms. Hundreds of producers and artists. Thousands of songs and videos. Millions of fans and billions of views. This is the ecosystem that gave rise to Hatsune Miku, the global singing idol that started as a voice synthesizing software in Japan and evolved into a peer-production phenomenon. This panel will critically examine Miku’s open-source culture to see how social media, networked creativity, and massive collaboration produced one of the most complex music franchises in the world.
We will investigate Miku’s networked social media community; how Crypton Future Media reacted to massive peer production; interviews with musical and media producers; bypassing copyright to architect a free media ecosystem while fostering support for artists; successes and challenges from collaborating with a handful of companies alongside thousands of individuals; and the plans behind producing numerous international sold-out concerts with a holographic singer.



Tara Knight is a filmmaker, animator, and projection designer for theater and dance. She is currently directing Mikumentary, a series of short documentary films about the worldwide Hatsune Miku phenomenon.

Most recently, in 2011 she created four, 30-foot walls of video for the Emmy-winning performance The Floating World with Malashock Dance, and designed video projections for Christopher Ashley's A DRAM of Drummhicit at the La Jolla Playhouse. She the fall of 2012 she performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in a weekly series of Camera Dances with choreographers Liam Clancy and Eric Geiger.

Knight received a BA in Film Theory and Production from Hampshire College, and an MFA in Visual Art from the University of California-San Diego. She recently joined the faculty at teaching Digital Media in the department of Theatre and Dance at UC San Diego.

Alex Leavitt PhD Researcher USC Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism

Alex Leavitt is a PhD student and researcher at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, where he studies social media from ethnographic and computational perspectives.

Hiroyuki Itoh CEO Crypton Future Media

Crypton Future Media, Inc. (HQ: Sapporo, Hokkaido; CEO: Hiroyuki Itoh) has been handling software sound source since 1995, and is the developer of Character Vocal Series 01: Hatsune Miku, which was released in 2007.

As CEO of Crypton Future Media, Hiroyuki has established himself as a visionary "meta-creator" - one who creates various products and services to assist the creations of other people. Soon after creating a new category of Vocaloid entertainers with the introduction of Hatsune Miku, he launched PIAPRO (, the Vocaloid info, music and artwork-sharing site.

Kanae Muraki US/EU Mktg Crypton Future Meida Inc

Kanae Muraki Director of Global Development at Crypton Future Media, Inc. While in school, she joined Crypton and developed several social music web services. Currently, she is in charge of US/EU development of Hatsune Miku, and also working with team to develop new music related technology for global market.