Motion sculptures

Motion sculptures

> Movement is used generate and manipulate visual shapes and forms

Dance particles
Explorations with real-time animated meshes of dancers.

By Andreas Muller, 2015.



“Aeolus is an artistic investigation of human motion and invisible natural forces, “wind” in particular. As a real time piece Aeolus enables us to visualise the wind flow for the time being and the pre-recorded choreographically designed human movement. Aeolus visualises imaginary relationships between movement and space, past and the time being, force and the flow.”

By Ersin Han Ersin, 2014. More info here.


My name is nobody
Interactive multimedia dance performance

By Bartek Szlachcic (Visuals/sound spatialization), Dawid Lorenc (choreography), Kostas Georgakopoulos (project direction), Frano Durović (sound composition), 2014. More info here.



“Interactive framework to create synaesthetic experiences of sounds and visuals generated from body movement.In their first collaborative work “MOMENTUM“ the user and his surroundings transforms into a fluid creature in an ever-transforming system of particles. A virtual reality, in which movement becomes sound and music and matter seems to dissolve.”

[Behind the screens]

By Schnellebuntebilder and kling klang klong, 2014. More info here.


Syntax error
“Three-dimensional, digital metaphor of a real life process influenced by the precision, rich detail, fine mechanism and energy. The digital tectonics mostly capture the fragility of a dancer’s movement and therefore show the beauty of human inaccuracy in the syntax of a programmed dance sequence.


The digital sculpture is a representation of individual human interpretation and implies the attributes that contrast human behavior from mechanical perfection. “

By Marvin Bratke and Alex Grasser, 2013. More info here


> Motion data is used as input to trigger, manipulate or generate visual shapes and forms

“It was used a combination of live drawings, via brain computer interface (EEG) and a gyroscope to measure and establish the orientation of the body with projections based augmentations. These diverse techniques were all aggregated by the same output and main overall strategy for the video interactive design: projecting directly on the floor and over the performers, activating the floor as a responsive environment.”

Video from the EEG section

Short version of the full performance

Credits: Choreographer: Yacov Sharir / Composer/Sound Design: Bruce Pennycook / Visuals: Joao Beira, Rodrigo Carvalho / Costume Design: Kelsey Vidic / Vocalist: Yago De Quay / Dancers: Emily Snouffer, Becca Bagley, Gianina Casale, Summer Fiaschetti, Katie McCarn and Allyson Morales.
Ad Mortuos was performed at the University of Texas Campus March 6-14, 2015, Oscar G. Brockett Theatre. More info here.


Cinetic sand
Particle system reacting to the movement of a series of juggling balls on
a 4k multi-touch screen.

By Adrien M & Claire B, 2015.


“Motion data was captured using inexpensive sensors and that data paved the way through an extensive number of steps.  Once all the scanned point cloud data was combined, that was then used as the base for the creative development on the piece.  A series of iterative studies on styles followed and several techniques and dynamic simulations were then applied using a number 3D tools for various results. “

By Maria Takeuchi (music), Frederico Phillips (visuals), Shiho Tanaka (dance), 2015. More info here.


Quantum space
“Entering this room you are disintegrating into quantums of light and communicating with universe. This is a digital meditation. Walls in this room are full covered by interactive projections. Abstract visualizations generated realtime from all movements of participants and from some automated parameters”.

By Kuflex, 2015. More info here.


Floating Satellites
‘Floating Satellites’ is an audiovisual interactive installation where position data of a series of artificial satellites orbiting around the planet earth is fed into the interactive system and used for graphic visualizations and sound control.
The orbits of the satellites around the planet earth act like a visual sequencer, and when the satellites cross specific coordinates events are triggered into the audiovisual generation system.

By Rodrigo Carvalho (Concept/Programming/Visuals), André Sousa (Sound), 2014. More info here.


The Interpreter
“The Interpreter” is an interactive installation that invites visitors to explore visualizations and sonifications of motion data from a pre-recorded dance sequence. Motion data recorded during the rehearsals of the AV dance performance “Breakdown”.

“Each movement sequence is represented as points in space and time that are related to the silhouette and skeleton of the dancer. The interactive system is constantly reading the motion data to generate real time graphic movement visualizations, paths from displacements in the space, morphing of the silhouette’s shape over the time and geometric patterns by points and lines connected to virtual body joints.”

By: Rodrigo Carvalho (Visuals, Interactive System) | Yago de Quay (Music, Interactive System) | Shen Jun (Dance), 2014. More details about the project here.


Loops is
“Loops is an abstract digital portrait of Merce Cunningham that runs in real time and never repeats. Loops is a portrait of Cunningham, but it attends not to his appearance, but to his motion. It is derived from a motion-captured recording of his solo dance for hands and fingers.””

Loops’ process

“The motion-captured joints become nodes in a network that sets them into fluctuating relationships with one another, at times suggesting the hands underlying them, but more often depicting complex cat’s-cradle variations. These nodes render themselves in a series of related styles, reminiscent of hand-drawing, but with a different sort of life. “

Loops’ 2011 version. By OpenEndedGroup + Merce Cunningham, 2005-2011. More info here.


VIirtual Pottery
“Virtual Pottery is an immersive audiovisual installation that uses hand gestures to create 3D pottery objects and compose real-time sound piece. Using the simple and anagogic metaphor, Virtual Pottery attempts to transform body gesture into digital music domain in a compelling way.”
“By using the simple hand gestures, the user can experience this virtual creation and sculpt their own pottery pieces, and compose a real-time music. The meditation feeling, but quite experimental music pushes the user to explore the relation between virtual sculpting and spatial sound composition.”

By Yoon Chung Han and Byeong-jun Han, 2012. More information here.


Infrared drawing device
“Infrared drawing device uses four infrared sensors to detect people as they move in front of it. The sensors are programmed to move a drawing arm in real time creating a charcoal drawing based on a participants’ movements.”

By David Bowen, 2011. More information here.


The Eyewriter
“Low-cost creative technology that enable to draw using the eyes.”
Free and open source software from commercially available eye tracing devices”

By Tempt1, Evan Roth, Chris Sugrue, Zach Lieberman,Theo Watson and James Powderly. More info here.


Visual shapes and forms are the result of collecting and mapping movement data

Data from runners was collected and transformed into visual artworks.
“This is how Fibers were born. 7 digital fibers growing when the person is working out, one for each day of training, stylized uniquely for the given runner. “

By Variable. More info here. 2014


Paint with your feet
Visualization of motion data from several runners.
“…we invited the participants to record their runs and then using our custom software we imported the metrics from their run, to create visuals based on the speed, consistency and unique style of each person’s run.

“Once back (and showered), Lieberman and cofounder Theo Watson plugged in the data from our watches into computers. Once the data loaded, we were able to manipulate the color, texture and size of the images and rotate them on a 3-D axis. After saving the final result, we could do anything with the graphic created—print it on posterboard, or even laser-etch it on the top of a shoebox. ” (source: Adrienne So article).

By YESYESNO. More info and visual outcomes here. 2011


Flight patterns
“24 Hours of flight data. Data from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration processed to create animations of flight traffic patterns and density.”

By Aaron Koblin. More info here. 2009


Traffic in Lisbon condensed in one day
“One month (October 2009) of traffic information (1534 vehicles) is condensed in a 24h day. The path’s colors represent average traffic speeds (greenish and cooler for higher traffic speeds, reddish and hotter for sluggish traffic). Areas with predominantly slow traffic are also colored”.

Below a related project (Lisbon’s Blood Vessels) where “the traffic of Lisbon is portrayed exploring metaphors of living organisms with circulatory problems.”

By Pedro Miguel Cruz. More info at the project page.  2010


Within Invisibility
“Within Invisibility is a wind data based art project. The core concept is to skip the jargon of conventional “wind charts” or “wind speed visualisation”, and to transfer wind data into real, windy atmosphere, connecting data with multi-sensational experience.
“40 major Chinese cities’ wind data is used, and each city is represented by two fans. Data is received and analyzed every 6 hours throughout the week. Rose patterns on each fan transforms every 6 second, echoing with the wind data updating speed. Wind speed change in every 6 hours is proportionally condensed into 6 seconds to fully demonstrate a day’s wind dynamics within a visitor’s attention spam”

By Jia Yu Liu. More info here. 2014


Movement is used to create, modify or interact with visual shapes and forms

A set of different approaches where movement is transformed into visual shapes. From real time tracking and collected digital data to generate visuals, to physical mechanisms that by moving draw images in space.

“Inspired by the well established history of both artistic and scientific study on oceans and oceanic waves, the project is a data dramatization of complex ocean simulations, distilled and re-imagined in the form of abstract visuals and sounds. An ongoing series of studies that investigate the tension and delicate balance between the immense power and incredible fragility of the oceans; simultaneously mighty yet delicate; calming yet terrifying; graceful yet violent; a symbol of fear, danger and death as well as hope, freedom and life.”

By Memo Akten, 2014. More info here.


Dancer Trails
Dancer Trails is an visual exploration made with motion data shared online by Perfurme Global.

By Mountstar, 2014. More info about the data at Perfume Global’s dev. site.
(Contributors for the database: Daito Manabe, Satoru Higa, Satoshi Horii, Hiroyuki Hori, Keiichi Yoshikawa,2bit and Hiroyasu Kimura)


“In collaboration with the dance group Mimbre, ‘Echo’, was performed in the monumental setting of Como’s Teatro Sociale in Italy.
This work was originally commissioned by Vamp for the Tate Modern’s turbine hall. Using advanced 3-D cameras to capture the physicality of the dancers movement, this was then translated in real time to a monumental backdrop creating a simultaneous performance.”

By United Visual Artist, 2007. More info here.


Robotic light sculpture. “Inspired by the Ducamp’s (Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912)) painting, Luxo depicts dynamism of a luminous particle in a 3 dimensional space. Using a small LED bulb mounted at the tip of a custom-made 4 degrees of freedom robot arm, Luxo can freely move its light source in a space drawing hallucinating light streaks by long-exposure photography. Scattered on its surroundings, the light dancing in the space creates a painting that attracts you to the imaginary void where time is melt along with dynamism of the Luxo itself.”

by Everyware, 2014. More info here.


Motorized chaos pendulum 
Drawing Machine controlled by an Arduino.

By Murio Claim, 2014.


> Shapes and forms are the result of collecting movement data (digital/analogue) through time (position, velocity, direction, rotation, … )

Art made by insects
The paths of ants moving inside a box are captured and used as input to generate graphic patterns to be printed in posters.

By Edhv.


iQ Font
A top camera tracks the movement of a car that is being driven by a professional pilot. The pilot drives the car with a rehearsal choreography, in a way that the path of the car build each one of the alphabet letters.


By Pierre & Damien (typographers),  Stef van Campenhoudt (pro race pilot) and Zachary Lieberman (software). More info here.


Full turn
A flat screen rotating at hight speed produces the illusion of three dimension images.


By Benjamin Muzzin. More info here.


Magnetic field record
”This equipment hung from the ceiling records magnetism and the gravity of the earth.
Movement a compass shakes and shows a direction, and movement of balance inclines by a liquid falls like intravenous drip.
Equipment “magnetic field record” describes by applying these two movements.”

By Kyouei Design. More info here.


Robotic drawing apparatus

By Candaş Şişman. More info here.

Collection of projects where shapes and forms are the result of collecting movement data (digital/analogue) through time (position, velocity, direction, rotation, … ). Shifting data from one domain to another (from Motion to Visual) gives us a new perspective on the movement. It extends motion in time and freezes its path.
Reference to the studies of Etienne Jules Marey capturing human motion. He devoted is life to the study of movement and apart from the study of human and animal motion he also dedicated part of his research to the study of air movement.
He built a smoke machine and a wind tunnel and photographed the shapes and aerodynamic behaviour that the smoke would get when its trajectory was blocked by different objects.
The pictures below show us the outcome of his experiments when we put a prism in different positions in front of the smoke.

“The shots thus made by Marey, fantastical images combining science and dream, poetry and technique, are aesthetic masterpieces that belong equally to the history of art, of photography, of aeronautics and aerodynamics.”
(quote from the catalogue of exhibition “Movements of Air Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904) Photographer of Fluids” in Musée d’Orsay, Paris)


Whale is a project that uses data captured by environment sensors from the Smart Citizen project, a platform based on open-source software and hardware for the public’s involvement in a city’s output.
In this case it is being used real time data captured by a board located in buoy in the Mediterranean Sea near Barcelona.
Every day images visualising the sea conditions is generated. The inputs for every representation  are based on a series of parameters captured by the sensors (motion of the waves captured by accelerometers,and weather condition captures by environment sensors).

Visualisation of a sunny day. Generated in 12/08/2013, 4:32.

Visualisation of a sunny day and quiet sea.
Generated in 08/08/2013, 11:07.

Visualisation of a cloudy day. Generated in 10/08/2013, 01:46.
More info about the project and the gallery of daily images here. About the Smart Citizen project check here


The Circular space visualization device
”Drawing tool that visualises the occupation in a space during the course of a day.As the sensor is triggered, the pen drops, causing lines to form across the paper disc. The arm of the device moves outward every hour, and the length and density of the lines begin to reveal the duration and frequency of each visit. Each disc produced becomes a beautiful visual artifact – a physical recording- of the history of both how and when the space was used, which in turn can reveal a potentially unseen character of the room.”

By Daniel Mahal , Zaza Zuilhof, Luke Sturgeon and Jane Wong.


CCTV9 is a documentary TV channel from China that had recently present a series of 4 small videos to promote their launch and communicate their visual identity. Based on the concept of “Motion in Time” each video presents a motion sculpture built from time trails of human movement.



MCLaren P1 Light painting
“A stop-motion, long exposure photography light painting animation, driven by real-life wind tunnel data and two motion control rigs. Exploring ways of ‘3d printing’ animated light trails in space.”

Concept, Design, Art and Technical Direction by Marshmallow Laser Feast in collaboration with James Medcraft. More info and complete credits list here.

Wind flow
Wind motion visualisation based on a vector flow field from data captured remotely by a LIDAR data. A particle system move around a vector field and leave path lines to visualise the motion in time.

By Jen Lowe. More info here.


> Movement. Strings vibrations, motors, traffic data, ants, bees, machines…

Still from “20Hz”

In fact the first one this post uses data from geo-magnetic storms, and it’s one of those cases that is difficult to categorise and can bring discussion about what should I considerer by “movement”. But being geo-magnetic storms  disturbances caused by solar winds shocks and interactions of magnetic fields, I decided that it has all the characteristics to be considerer as movement.


20 Hz
“20 Hz observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Working with data collected from the CARISMA radio array and interpreted as audio, we hear tweeting and rumbles caused by incoming solar wind, captured at the frequency of 20 Hertz. Generated directly by the sound, tangible and sculptural forms emerge suggestive of scientific visualisations. As different frequencies interact both visually and aurally, complex patterns emerge to create interference phenomena that probe the limits of our perception”

By Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. More info: semiconductorfilms


Nike Flyknit ‘FIT’
“The installation, as seen here, is comprised of a 4 sided video cube capturing the hive of activity where living threads swarm across the screens responding to human presence. As you enter you hear the hum of a factory process, sounds derived from macro samples of threads, interlocking repetitions and peaks of brightness causing visual reactions around the space.”

Film version

Installation at Milan Design Week 2013
By Universal Everything. More in at project page


Drawing apparatus
“Drawing Apparatus challenges our notions of drawing, printmaking, and performance.  The drawings become documentation of the performance, reminding the viewer of the mechanisms and sounds of the apparatus at work.  Printmaking’s ability to create multiples of an image is also referenced in its ability to replicate the designs it creates.  Drawing Apparatus situates itself across disciplines and asks us to reconsider our own notions of performance, drawing and printmaking.”

By Robert Howsare. More info here.


“A grid of one hundred white prosthetic hands actuated by stepper motors, enabling them to rotate around their own axis, are mounted on a wall. Each hand holds a small mirror. An adjacently positioned bright light source shines on this matrix, causing the turning mirrors to cast small moving light spots across the space. What initially seems like an asynchronous, chaotic pattern of movement soon reveals itself as complex, computational choreography that culminates in forming a Chinese character denoting movement and action”.

By Art+Com. More info here.

Scroll up