Communal rebuilding reconnecting reusing

From Hackers & Designers
Communal rebuilding reconnecting reusing
Name Communal rebuilding reconnecting reusing
Location Het Wilde Weg
Date 2023/07/19
Time 10:00-18:00
PeopleOrganisations Thomas Rosser
Type HDSC2023
Web Yes
Print No
3 communal rebuilding, reconnecting, reusing.jpg

Bringing together solarpunk themes and ideas from permacomputing, community care and anarchist theory, I am interested in facilitating a space for group and individual expression through the devising of redefined communication tools. Together we will examine how our current technological solutions and infrastructure allow us to communicate and express ourselves, and how they limit us in their current state. We will imagine communication protocols that serve us better as a community on camp, representing the needs of everyone and exploring the playful nature of exchanging ideas, feelings, knowledge and experiences with each other. This will involve analogue mapping of language and symbols, before we attempt to build a networked instrument for collective performance. I hope that we can then explore and iterate on what we have made before performing together with this instrument on the radio station. Perhaps we can link up with the Hacked Orchestra workshop too somehow...

Using networked single board computers, reclaimed battery storage, gathered solar energy, and our custom communication protocol we will then go about creating these digital tools to interact with each other. We will discuss how to salvage and repurpose technologies around us to build our own infrastructure. The outcomes could be simple sound sending & receiving devices, encoded signal messagers, pagers, or could be a simple networked game that we can play across the site.

We will then test out our systems / protocols / devices and come together to discuss, dissect, and suggest iterations for the instrument.

Some of the themes we will be examining:

keeping things local

  • reconfiguring sense scale for digital and network infrastructure - Ben: is this scale as in space or scale as in amount of people using infrastructure?
  • limiting resource use, in defiance of the excesses of digital-extractivism
  • sharing what we know, disseminating and exchanging knowledge
  • responding to individual / local group needs and desires, limitations or ability

challenging obsolecence

  • reusing single / limited - use items, finding ways to expand their useful lifespan ie: taking single use vape batteries, safely recharging them and repurposing them.
  • repurposing older technologies / computers / hardware we already own to reimagine expanded life cycles from

collective building

  • decision making that reflects the needs of everyone
  • representing the desires and forms of everyone involved / majority
  • using parts and bringing ideas together to build new forms and sounds, images and ideas

consensus in action

  • how does each group's work meet as one? where is there harmony? where is there discord?
  • do we need to devise a system of turn taking, or a meta-algorithm that defines a layout of communication?

Technology / Tools:

  • single board computers with the ability to network (RPi Pico, ESP32 etc.) * not sure whether H&D could supply some tools / resources here? we will bring esp32s for other workshops you could use. Lets make sure the activities dont overlap to make sure we have enough
  • I will supply some prototype communication instruments, with sensors and actuators that we can hack together / modify as the group desires. nice! Could you give an example of what you could bring as concrete starting points? Everything you mention above is exciting and id be curious how it would all work
  • Perhaps anyone who has physical computing components that they would like to bring to involve in the workshop
  • small solar panels for charging
  • salvaged batteries to power our instruments from ie. from disposable vapes (a plague in London, not sure about elsewhere) - I will supply electronics for re-charging these safely
  • computers for programming, with arduino IDE and libraries installed, but I will provide any neccesary libraries and a codebase for networked interaction in advance / please suggest anything you think may be of interest to others
  • pen and paper (of course)
  • anything else you may like to interact with (an object, clothing, diary or notebook for references / idea generation)
  • small local router for local networking between intsruments

Participants: anyone, we will break into smaller groups for making and then re-group as a whole for playtesting, collective performance


  • workshop and instruction to be given in English
  • no strict remit over making part of the workshop, can be completely physical / non-electronic if coding part of workshop is limiting factor to participation. themes and ideas from the discussion can be embodied without computing as long as there is some exploration of themes and we work together to produce a form of communication protocol


Thomas is an audio-visual artist based in London, working with physical computing, sound and code to build intuitive instruments collective performance with a practice rooted in research around sustainable and solar punk solutions and community building in interactive and performance art, with the intention of designing and building creative tools to enact collective social change through making, play and performance.