Franki McDade

Franki is a lighting designer and director from the Isle of Man. Having spent the past 14 years touring with live music productions, she now finds herself settled in London. She enjoys immersive experiences, cooking and films.

Franki is in charge of Communication and Social Media in the School of Cyborg, while focusing on inclusivity as the Empathy Manager, and working with Catherine to take care of the graphics of SoC.

︎        @franki_mcdade

Franki ︎


Welcome friends!

It's Franki from the MA Culture, Criticism and Curation course at Central Saint Martins (CSM). I am part of a collective comprised of five fellow CSM students, who will all be writing entries into this blog. But for now, I have the great pleasure of writing the inaugural entry for our currently untitled project. 

We will be collaborating with Dundee based Northeast of North (NeoN) Digital Arts Festival to produce a curated project around the festival's theme of Wired Women for 2021/2022. For a bit of background on NeoN, I'll quote directly from them.
NEoN Digital Arts aims to advance the understanding and accessibility of digital and technology-driven artforms and to encourage high quality within the production of this medium. NEoN has organised exhibitions, workshops, talks, conferences, live performances, and public discussions and established itself as a platform to showcase national and international digital art forms. By bringing together emerging talent and well-established artists, we aim to influence and reshape the genre.

For more information on our collaborators, you can find it here.

Within this year's theme of Wired Women, we are looking at community internet and how we, as curators, can create inclusive spaces for those in Dundee that have limited access to digital tools and the internet.

NEoN's theme of Wired Women is inspired by the anthology of the same name edited by Lynn Cherny and Elizabeth Reba Weise. The reader tackles issues of gender and inclusivity within the digital space. The text also engages with digital areas such as Multi-User Dungeons (MUD's) and Object Orientated Multi-User Dungeons (MOO's). These are real-time virtual world spaces that combine role-playing, interactivity, and storytelling.

We are in the early stage of brainstorming, which covers a plethora of ideas within the theme. We are fortunate to be collaborating with a well-established festival with a solid connection to the Dundee area. This has provided us with many options for potential partners to work on the project.

Before I delve too deeply into what we have already been researching. I feel that it's essential to lay out what, as a student collective what matters to us most within this project. While creating a space for audience engagement with digital art, we want to create a safe and inclusive space that also attempts to dismantle the digital divide. We hope that creating something with artistic and socio-political value and high public engagement will increase awareness of the digital divide. While also providing tools to combat such issues.

While we develop such an ambitious project, we will continue to evaluate our ideas, revisiting our project. Now, we understand the critical action: to provide platforms to create or activate tools for change?

We have now begun the first stages of our deep research. Alongside this research, we reach out to a range of people and collectives to discuss the topic, their own practices, and engagement with digital platforms. As well as connecting with specific individuals, we have been looking in-depth at Dundee as a location. Having now discussed the digital divide, we wish to create something that works beyond the digital space. We will endeavour to create a space that is accessible to those without access to digital tools. To get a better understanding of the area. To keep track of our findings, we have created a digital map that can be found here. The map displays potential spaces to work and communities we wish to engage with.

It's still early days. We are filled with excitement to be working on this project. Each discovery is proving to be exciting and engaging. I think streamlining our ideas might be our biggest upcoming challenge.

Stay Safe and Well,


School of Cyborg Dundee

is a UAL Central Saint Martins - MACCC Project
with the joint effort of NEoN Digital Arts Festival for the 2021 Edition

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