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or The art of looking sideways[1] … revisited through the WATCHA’s first experiment.

Yesterday, in a big room where Narwhals, women with smart clocks and dogs with blogs were harmonically present, a strange 3 hour experiment, under the name WATCHA, took place.

WATCHA is a new design fiction project, which tries to investigate the relations of humans, technological products and their everyday use. A disobedient wearable object connected to the world and by the world. WATCHA can help you to watch and be watched. Where, how, why, who, by whom? WATCHA is not now, but in the near-far future. A lure for feeling.[2] Imagine people wearing a device that is not about tracking time as we know it, as man made construct but time as in feeling. A device that allows you to see what millions of other users are feeling – having a good time, having a bad time, changing times, scary time, interesting time, hilarious time. What would we see from other people’s experience in time and would this be useful to our own comprehension of the ‘time of our life’?

WATCHA could fulfill our ideal dreams or our worst nightmares. WATCHA is here with us but same time somewhere else. A design brief in the making, by the team. An experiment where all the paremeters can be pre-defined by the team, or not. The up-to date knoweldge can stop us or not. The social issues too. A messy matrix of probabalities, plausibilities, possibilities, prefarabilities and potentialities.

Or not?

Is WATCHA really all these?

Or not?

WATCHA is real. Can be real. But there is a but and a why. And an experiment never starts without why. A big WHY. The experiment is the introduction. An introduction to the art of looking sideways. An art that takes time, effort, energy, sources, humans and lots of experiments. Experiment after experiment. Disappointments, disturbances, disallowances, dispositions. The experiments are based on collages of things, methods, actions, and relations. The experiments are resulting in new collages of things, methods, actions and relations. This art is peculiar and tortuous. It’s not for everyone and the masters of it are few. They keep the secret codes and use their own vocabulary to talk about it. It makes no sense sometimes. They are also Masters in camouflaging it! They do give you tastebits of their Art and open the roads for their apprentices. But it’s up to them to absord it, deconstruct it and reconstruct it again. And this is the beginning. The first experiment, the first tastebit. The WATCHA is becoming and so are they. In time, in space and in substance.

[1] “The art of looking sideways”, Alan Fletcher, 2001, Phaidon Press

[2] Parisi, Luciana. 2013. Speculation: a Method for the Unattainable. In: Celia Lury and Nina Wakeford, eds. Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social. London: Routledge

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