Interactive portraits show in Rotherham

Transgender issues have been talked about a lot in the past year. Often this discussion has been abstract, and has treated trans people like a problem. This display of interactive works offers a chance to talk with representations of transgender people, using playful design to encourage openness and and a sense of connection.


Representing interviews with transgender people in Japan, this display of lo-fi interactive works riffs on retro videogames and toys such as Tamagotchi. Part of this has previously been displayed at Festival of the Mind in Sheffield, Mozilla Festival in London, and is currently on display at the Schwules Museum in Berlin.

The show at ROAR is the premiere of an original installation method using custom electronics and textiles.

  • 13 works representing real individuals interviewed in Japan.
  • Custom-made handheld consoles
  • Original textile works by Anne Smithies.
  • Plinths made of e-waste by Jack Lyus.

Dates and location

Facebook event

  • Reception: Saturday 19th 2pm
  • LGBTQ+ community gathering: Saturday 26th 2pm
  • LGBTQ+ community preview and critique: Tuesday 15th 2pm
  • Art community preview and critique: Wednesday 16th 2pm
  • Other special sessions can be arranged on request

Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance, Westgate Chambers, Rotherham S60 1AN

Open 1pm – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday, Tuesday 15th January – Friday 8th February


These works make extensive use of rapid flashing effects that may affect people with photosensitive epilepsy.

The exhibition space is accessible by wheelchair.


The development of the interactive works was supported through the government-funded Creator Ikusei Media Arts residency in Tokyo, Japan, and a grant from Making Ways as part of Sheffield City of Makers. The creation of the hardware for this show was supported in part by the Freeland Foundation through the Site Gallery, Sheffield, as well as through a Project Grant from Arts Council England.