The Self at your Wrist is an article and a series of 3D illustrations that explores the dark sides of the wearable technology phenomenon and analyzes the negative psychological impacts of the Quantified Self philosophy on users and people. The work was commissioned to Fabio Besti by Fondazione Giannino Bassetti, a non-profit organization that since 1994 promotes Responsible Innovation and analyzes the reflections of techno-scientific innovation on society. The article and the series of 3D illustration are the natural continuation of Fabio Besti’s deep interested and investigation into wearable tech and the relationship between human and technology, artifacts and bodies, started with the Jawbone EXO Ecosystem and later brought further with Estensione, the design investigation in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano.
The main 3D illustration
“We have one more thing to cover…” Screaming voices and enthusiast applauses are filling Flint Center for the Performing Arts auditorium in Cupertino, California. “I’m so excited and so proud to share with you this morning the next chapter in Apple’s history.” Here’s how Tim Cook presented the long awaited Apple Watch, back in september 2014. The latest indicator of a major paradigm shift in technology. Evolving from static to portable, from portable to mobile, from mobile to wearable, technology takes another step in its tireless approach to the human body. Today wearables are ready to enter our lives, and the overall enthusiasm is huge. But how this will change our behavior, how this will affect us? Tracking devices and data about ourselves are starting to make something that before was invisible and internal, such our self-consciousness and self-perception, visible externally and ‘wearable’ on our wrists. What will be the consequence for human self-identity when devices will have the power to sense things even we can’t perceive? Will a device be the holder and the owner or our self-worth? Where will we find a reference for our self-esteem? Isn’t our Self threatened to be annihilated?”