The Ghost In The Machine: Merce Cunningham and Bill T. Jones

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ann H. Dils, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: What is it that we value in a human image? One priority—evidenced by the work of home videographers—is to create a sense of nearness to loved ones and events by capturing as much information about people and their actions as possible. Other image-makers, particularly portraitists, hope to draw in the viewer, allowing her to flesh out an image with her own associations and imagination. To do this, portraitists pare away human attributes and environment to arrive at a representation of something essential, something telling about a person. I'm used to seeing spare images of human faces and bodies in sketches and black and white photographs. But what possibilities exist for portraits in which people are identified only by motion? Motion capture and animation technologies make it possible to create portraits of people that consist primarily of human motion, replacing identifiable bodies with more generic forms. Do these images work as portraits? What is the impact of leaving the body behind?

Additional Information

Dils, A., (2002) The Ghost in the Machine: Merce Cunningham and Bill T. Jones. Performing Arts Journal. 24 (1) 94-104.
Language: English
Date: 2002
Dance, Human image, Motion capture, Computer generated images

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