Touching Space: Using Motion Capture and Stereo Projection to Create a “Virtual Haptics” of Dance






  • This paper describes the work of a group of artists in Australia who used real-time motion capture and 3D stereo projection to create a large-scale performance environment in which dancers seemed to “touch” the volume. This project re-versions Suzanne Langer’s 1950s philosophy of dance as “virtual force” to realize the idea of a “virtual haptics” of dance that extends the dancer’s physical agency literally across and through the surrounding spatial volume. The project presents a vision of interactive dance performance that “touches” space by visualizing kinematics as intentionality and agency. In doing so, we suggest the possibility of new kinds of human-computer interfaces that emphasize touch as embodied, nuanced agency that is mediated by the subtle qualities of whole-body movement, in addition to more goal-oriented, task-based gestures such as pointing or clicking.


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