Digital Maker Collective: Beta Society
TATE EXCHANGE: TATE MODERN, Blavatnik Building Level 5, Bankside, London: 5- 10 March 2019.


        Yonder/Yandar: Concrete Poetry Frequencies: a DMC, LITC & CRIN collaboration including (in alphabetical order)

        Jheni Arboine, Leila Nithila-George, Julia Piekarczyk, Nicola Rae, Grzesiek Sedek, Charles Yassin and DMC members.


Beta Society supports greater diversity and equality of opportunity in the development and access of technology, education and the arts.

The Digital Maker Collective invited guest contributors and our community partners to campaign for a Beta Society. This week-long event aimed to establish a new community of creatives, students, industry and public, exploring social mobility and citizen-centered innovation through a digital lens.


        Below: Charles and Julia from LITC respond to DMC's 'Gender Diversity in Creative Tech' activism on International Women's Day.






        About the Digital Maker Collective: The Digital Maker Collective are a group of artists, designers, staff, alumni and students from the University of the         Arts London (UAL) who explore emerging digital technologies in arts, education, society and the creative industries.

        About LITC: LITC aims to provide extensive social support, encourage community engagement, provide work-based training opportunities, develop
        skills, increase user employability and career aspirations, establish inter-organisational partnerships for the good of communities and make a real
        difference to the lives of individuals especially those from significantly deprived communities and regions.


        Below left: Charles with Melissa from Black Females in Architecture collective during the 'Common Language' day. Below right (l to r): DMC
        members Lucy, Julia, Zoe and Jazmin supporting 'Power to WOC' (Women of Colour) activism on 'Gender Diversity in Creative Tech' day.



Prior to the Tate Exchange event, Jheni and I took part in many community meetings at Camberwell Playground and developed our collaboration with Charles and Julia from LITC through an active listening process. During one meeting a dialogue developed between Charles and Jheni concerning the sounding of dialects. ‘Yonder’ when spoken in Caribbean Patois by Charles’s Mum became ‘Yandar’, and this became the start of a Concrete Poetry project that would respond actively and participatively to audience input and community group activism over three days of our BETA Society project.


Below: Jheni Arboine's Concrete Poetry workshop on Saturday.
Right: Jheni's concrete poem







As a result of a series of conversations with participants, I uploaded suggested phrases on Arduino OLED screens that responded to the community focus on each day. These scrolling, glitched texts were then magnified through a digital microscope, turned into Photobooth Xrays and then back-projected onto tracing paper attached to Tate Exchange’s wooden tripod structures.

During the early days of the Digital Maker Collective in 2016, Grzesiek Sedek had shown me how to splice three different sections of open source code to create an Arduino 6-pin OLED screen of glitched text containing 872 lines of code. This code sequence was adapted for our participative open source concrete poetry during this project.


Right: Grzesiek Sedek giving me further open source coding advice about how to extend the length of each line of glitched text.





Below: Experimenting with glitching familiar Scottish dialects during the Common Language day.





Below: CRIN team member supporting 'Rights not Charity' activism for children during their 'BETA Utopia' day.





Below: Celebrating International Women's Day during the 'Gender Diversity in Creative Tech' day.










Above and below left: Tate Exchange's Adeola suggested uploading 'Where you dey go?' during the Common Language day. She described this as Pidgin English (developed as a way of communicating by people who do not speak each others languages) while we were discussing code swapping.
Below right: Uploading one of CRIN's activist statements 'Children's voices should be heard' with the help of LCC student Anna Tsuda.






Below left: Chelsea student Leila Nithila-George leading Jheni's Concrete Poetry Workshop on Sunday.