Ghostcatching

To create the virtual dance installation Ghostcatching the digital artists Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar used a computer-based optical system to track the movements of the choreographer Bill T. Jones. The data from this motion-capture system formed the basis for three-dimensional digital animation.

The work challenges previous modes of commodification and enjoyment of the racialized other; it also provides a new generation in a genealogy of mechanized figures and automatons, as exemplified by the photographic work of Étienne-Jules Marey (1830–1904).

This according to “Ghostcatching: An intersection of technology, labor, and race” by Danielle Goldman (Dance research journal XXV–XXVI/2–1, pp. 68–87). Inset, some of Marey’s 1870 locomotion studies (click to enlarge); below, excerpts from Ghostcatching.

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