In the Flesh

Billy Cowie

Research output: Other contribution


'In the Flesh' is a virtual stereoscopic dance installation that takes Cowie’s ongoing progression of development in the production of a solid dance presence by the use of stereoscopy (output 4) to its ultimate conclusion – state-of-the-art computer manipulation of high definition images producing the illusion that the audience is in the presence of a real dancer. The work takes an early twentieth-century form of stereo drawing (Phantography) and brings it into the digital video age. Parallel high definition video images are distorted using state-of-the-art computing and then combined to produce a ceiling projected anaglyph image that is so accurate and lifelike that physical measurements can be taken of the relative limb positions. In addition to the technical aspects, 'In the Flesh' demanded a new form of choreography that sees the body encased in a virtual 3D frame. This use of the frame to constrain and inform a choreography has run through much of Cowie’s work and the subject of his paper ('Framing the Body') delivered at the ADF conference, North Carolina (2006) - see output 4. Also important to I'n the Flesh' is the fusing of different art forms - poetry, music, choreography, technology and lighting - to produce a form of gesamtkunstwerk. Initial research funding for this project was provided by an ACE Grants for Arts award (£7.5k) and a second Grants for the Arts (GFA) award (£4,950) given to complete the project. 'In the Flesh' has been invited to present at Sadler’s Wells. London, EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center) New York State, and the Boston Cyberarts Festival. Seen as a breakthrough in the documentation of human movement, Janine Dijkmeijer, Director of Cinedans (Amsterdam 2007) commented: 'It is a great development in dance filming. The reality and experience is very special'.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSadler's Wells
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2007


  • Installation
  • 3D
  • Performance


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