Re: Ghostcatching on ABC-TV

Mark Coniglio (
Wed, 4 Aug 1999 14:14:26 -0500

>...special Nightline programs, developed chiefly by Robert Krulwich.
> This segment explores Danny Hillis' contention that the future of
> human evolution will be silicon-based rather than carbon-based
> (ie, we will descend as machines, not as bodies).
>As one counterpoint, the program looks at the virtual dance "Ghostcatching"...

I look forward to seeing the program. I have been thinking about the
movement of the human being towards silicon a lot lately, since we are
basing portions of our next performance on Ray Kurzweil's "The Age of
Spiritual Machines" in which he gives a timeline for this transition in a
compelling and logical way.

I am interested in the fact that you say, "As one counterpoint..." As I
have been thinking about my own involvement in using technology as a way of
mapping the movement of the human body to media, it would seem that I (and
perhaps all here on this list who are pursuing similiar agendas) are in
fact preparing and, perhaps, even facillitating this transition. I can see
that in a piece like Ghostcatching, where the movement of the animations is
derived from the movements of a human body, you might say that the
technology is somehow "humanized." My contention would be that by providing
a computer mediated view of the body, and a quite a beautiful one at that,
you are helping those who view the work to become comfortable with the
notion of becoming data. Thus, we prepare for the possible (inevitable?)
moment detailed in Mr. Kurzweil's book in which the molecular structure of
a person's brain is scanned and then this representation is transferred
into a faster and more long lasting silicon copy. (This moment of transfer
is the crisis faced by one of the characters in our new work.)

Am an inferring incorrectly from the word "counterpoint"? If not, I'd be
curious to why you view it as such.

In any case, I look forward to seeing a snippet of Ghostcatching again.


Mark Coniglio, Artistic Co-Director |
Troika Ranch Dance Theater |