Araya Wongwan

This page is dedicated to my ongoing research projects to explore and question our beings within the bounds of the capitalistic society. I draw on public policy, political theory, psychology, and interaction design to produce contemplative artworks that prompt personal and societal reflections.

Projects are live here but attached links can be found for the full experience.

‘Against the Clock’ (2021)

“Against the clock” is a contemplative work that challenges the presentation of a conveniently-read clock, forcing the viewer to re-think the way we read time and its implications.

Our current state of neoliberal society is driven by structured time intervals where there is an expectation to exhaust all labours and resources to produce as much and as fast as possible. Learned from an early age, timekeeping became an internalised process to keep ourselves in-check for efficiency. However, this learned-instinctiveness has turned us into docile bodies. In order to regain power that has been stripped from us, we need to confront the pervasive mechanism that conveniently enabled us to internalise the apparatus of control that fuel our need to produce.

The presented digital clock provides maximal visibility, occupying the whole screen, and is adaptive to all window sizes – ready to cater to modern technologies in daily lives. However, visibility does not equate legibility. Although accurately working, the clock defies established norms of time-reading that is quick and precise, enabling the seamless activity of time checking. Each hour does not have perceived equal intervals between each other. Additionally, the clock’s hand is created by a low-contrast gradient. Both factors do not comply with the industry standard of being “user-friendly”; it does not provide accessibility for the lowest common denominator of people to use the “product”. Tension is further enhanced by the superfluously precise blinking of the seconds that contributes minimal value to time-reading when the so demanded hour time is rather ambiguous. Ultimately the work attempts to confront our overlooked need to seamlessly check time in order to monitor our behaviours against a generated structured interval.

‘In Relation’ (2020)

In Relations is an interactive experiment to explore how the individual places themselves in relation to others through the generated pattern of touch. Using an empty canvas with a randomised "self" as a starting point, this project is a meditative process for the individual to begin reflecting upon their various relationships from casual to intimate. The initial "self" remains unchanged for the whole duration of the exercise but is randomly generated each time the page is refreshed. This puts a concrete ground in a given moment in time, place, and circumstance.

The project is created during the first Spanish pandemic lockdown in March 2020. Being in a new country alone, afar from familiar initimacies, made me reflect on the nature and development of my close relations (past partners, family members, friends, etc.). Who have I drifted or gotten closer to over the years, what traits I seek in others, and what traits I should improve on to be a better person for others.