The OWL Circle – A Magic Technology Creation Process

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  • Workshop Statement

    “How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?”
    – Meno, from Plato’s dialogue (in Solnit, 2005)
    We invite dedicated participants to join us at OWL circle pop-up workshops in cafes and other community places around Istanbul. Each circle is a structured gathering in which participants examine, through the making process, a relationship their body has to desire. Where do desires live in our bodies? How might our desires be supported by yet to be imagined technologies? How might such technologies be conceived of and developed – sufficiently that they may be evaluated – if we do not yet know what they are? OWL circles are 2 hours long, during which time you are supported to create a personal exploratory device. The device is not designed in any traditional sense, rather it emerges from an open making process that combines art and design ideation techniques with scientific curiosity and retrospective ethnographic evaluation. You will create, present and document your outcomes during the circle. We bring tools and materials for making. We ask you to bring your imagination and desires. The OWL circle is part of a larger project that is predicated on Arthur C. Clarke’s third rule of technology prediction, that “any sufficiently advance technology is indistinguishable from magic”. It began with a series of exploratory body-props that were used to examine emergent body-technology desires in participants from a range of socio-cultural backgrounds. From this work the OWL circle naturally emerged.