Motion Tracking Dynamically Animates St. Louis Arts Center’s Digital Donor Wall

December 20, 2021 by Dave Haynes

The new University Campus of the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, MO has made a 20-foot wide interactive display a visual centerpiece for the multidisciplinary community arts organization, using a motion-tracking system to react to the actions of onlookers.

The wall was put together by the Boston-based creative technology firm SOSO.

From start to finish, says SOSO in describing its project, the Interactive Community Wall was inspired by COCA community members’ creativity with their bodies and how COCA and its community rely on and build upon each other. In this spirit, SOSO designed the artwork in collaboration with community members, board members, and staff. The result is a piece that reflects and brings to life the organization’s mission of enriching lives and building community through the arts. 

The Wall features a 20-ft long screen-based motion-tracking system that encourages visitors to explore and create art with their bodies. It transforms the new public Centene Commons into a performative environment while serving as a venue to recognize contributors to the COCA’s Create Our Future campaign.

The system moves nearly a million particles at a high frame rate, in real time, to form every graphic element on the screens, while also fluidly reacting to motion input from visitors. These particles represent the COCA community and assemble to spell out donor names and important community messages as if the community are coming together to build the organization and its campus. 

While visitors are interacting with the Wall, their physical movements are tracked by an infrared camera and transformed into colorful waves made of these particles. Pre-recorded performances by 12 COCA community members are played when no one is interacting with the wall.

Very nice! Getting screen or projected content to directly react to movement has been around for many years, but as with almost all technology, it’s grown better and snappier. This is the first time, though, that I have seen a digital donor wall associated with this kind of motion tracking tech.

Video on the project, which cleverly uses trained dancers to generate the fluid, dynamic visuals.


SOSO’s Interactive Community Wall seamlessly integrates technology and media with COCA’s stylish new campus, creating an interactive and immersive space that reflects the dynamism of the community.

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