The OWL Circle – A Magic Technology Creation Process

Workshop Leader: Kristina Andersen
2nd Leader: Danielle Wilde

“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.
Bios of the Presenters
Kristina Andersen (NL/DK) is a maker and researcher based at STEIM in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She works with electronics to create unusual objects and experiences as a part of her ongoing obsession with naïve electronics and magic. She works with materials and protocols through iterative processes and play, often with children as her main users and collaborators. She holds an MA in wearable computers from the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen DK, an MSc in tangible objects in virtual spaces from University College London UK, and was a honorary research fellow at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy.  She has mentored and taught at DasArts, Piet Zwart Institute and Willem de Kooning Academie and she was an honorary visiting design fellow at the University of York, UK. She has designed and hosted countless workshops in strange locations and is actively engaged in various technology/art conference commitees. She mentors at the Patchingzone and is director of research and communication at STEIM. Examples of work can be found at

Danielle Wilde (AU/FR) thinks, writes, moves and makes to understand how technology might pair with the body to poeticise experience. Her research blurs boundaries between a number of disciplines, including performance, fine art, costume design, critical (technology) and interaction design. She has a particular interest in the democratizing value of clumsiness. In 2010 she was visiting research scholar at Tokyo University’s Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory. In 2011 she will complete a PhD titled Swing That Thing: Moving to Move, on the poetics of embodied interaction. Further information is available at

Posted by:  Ebru Surek