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SPENCER RATANAVANH





Wetware 

A dance where I wear my heart on my skin.

2021
Solo Dance




Wetware is a solo dance where a sensor which reads my heartbeat manipulates projections that function as theatrical lighting

Being trans, I’ve spent most of my life dreaming of morphing and transform my own body.

In this dance, I put myself in a position of both vulnerable and in power. My pulse is naked to the audience, yet I subvert the gaze and shape myself in my own light by negotiating my postion in relationship to the light. As I negotiate ways to regulate my heart rate and move in response to the projection, what emerges is a duet between myself and my heart.

As poet Anaïs Duplan writes, “… I’m not opaque. I’m so relevant I’m disappearing.” The past half-decade has brought increasing visibility for trans people coupled with increasing violence, both interpersonal and legislative.

I wear my heart on my skin to ask: what does visibility mean? What does it mean to be seen, not just visible?




Following its debut as a solo, this work is now in process as an evening-length ensemble piece. 




Developed in the Fall of 2021 at NYU ITP.

Mediums: p5.js, p5.serialcontrol, Arduino, Electromyography sensor, projector, tripod, body.

Read more about the technical and conceptual development process here.





View from the makeshift ‘tech booth’.