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Ghosts in the Machine: a motion-capture experiment in distributed reception

journal contribution
posted on 2020-10-21, 23:06 authored by Helen Slaney, Anna Foka, Sophie Bocksberger
Digital reconstructions of classical antiquity are generally ocularcentric, appealing only to the sense of vision. We propose that new technologies may be used to engage the other senses in the act of reception, and specifically here we focus on kinaesthesia, or the sense of self-movement. This paper analyses a phase of the project Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers in which participants created performance pieces in a genre of Graeco-Roman dance for use in a motion-capture system. It was necessary for the performers to develop a range of translational strategies in order to communicate their movement to the system, entailing what we term “distributed reception”, in which the ultimate recipient of ancient source-material is not a human actor but rather the machine with which s/he is in collaboration.


Publication Date



Digital Humanities Quarterly






Alliance of Digital Humanities



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