A little bit of history was made on Nantucket on Sunday.
Julian Assange, the co-founder of Wikileaks, has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for over two years in order to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crimes charges. Assange is also facing possible prosecution for leaking classified government documents. For this reason, many view him as a political prisoner.
Assange made a brief virtual escape from his virtual prison Sunday by appearing at The Nantucket Project in the form of a hologram. The Nantucket Project is a festival of ideas that attracts some of the most influential thinkers and visionaries in the country.
The documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki joined Assange onstage as an interlocutor. "It crosses my mind," Jarecki wrote in The Guardian, "I may be abetting a crime or violating international extradition laws. But I reassure myself that, in this regard, the worldwide web remains a kind of wild wild west, and the virtual escape of a person is not (yet?) a crime."
So what's the significance?
According to Hologram USA, the company that provided the technology, this is the first major use of "telepresence" capabilities in the U.S. that allows "an individual to transcend distance, borders, and even legal restrictions to get their message across in a visceral, urgent way."