Slow Trance Dance

Slow Trance Dance (S.T.D.) Installation Prototype
I’m looking for a venue/exhibition to display a more robust and visually developed version of the prototype that was first shown at Ryerson University. It is an interactive installation exploring new ways of communicating data to audiences.

“S.T.D.” builds on people perceiving touch as more personal, emotional and intimate than visualizing. I am exploring communicating possibilities but not answers around sexuality, touch, and sexually transmitted diseases/infections through a floor whose vibrations are based on STI/STD data, complemented by mood music, paintings and information.

Thus I further explore communicating “insecurities about gender, sexuality and responsibility” as sexuality critically involves touching. Experiencing this as tactile data should resonate more powerfully and emotionally with audiences than traditional visual mechanisms for experiencing this data.

Participants enter a room with a single disco ball hung from the ceiling, the sound of the motor turning, one by one stepping onto a raised floor, from which apparently random vibrations rise through their feet and into their whole bodies. As more step onto the floor, they activate coloured lighting onto the disco ball, as well as mood music which encourages slow dancing (referencing STI/STD transmission as a form of interpersonal communication). The music is accompanied by the sounds of a party crowd, as though the room is filled with people.

On the walls surrounding the raised floor are selected paintings, text, descriptions, data and potentially video material where participants can discover the vibrations in the floor are choreographed by datasets of STI/STDs. They directly move the body, something that you can physically feel in the body, they are also symbolic of something that is likely already there but that many people are afraid to talk about.

My hope is the installation would be fun, open dialogue and potentially create empathy or thought instead of stigmatization. Ideally the piece would be large but could grow or shrink depending on the venue. Overall the meaning of the work will depend on how far the viewer steps into the work, and on how many viewers are present at that time.

I am continuing to develop the work with the support of the Ontario Arts Council. Please contact me for questions or more information.

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