After 1.097 hours watching Puerta del Sol:

A disperse diary on protest space and its temporal conflicts.

^ Online platform Open Urban Television (OUT): http://openurbantelevision.com/

I´ve been experimenting troubles to sleep and think lately. I believe it all started during a round table at Matadero Cultural Center in Madrid. The event was called Hypermad[1] and was organized by the students of the Masters in Architectonic Communication (Maca)[2] as a part of a discussion´s series about homeless population. We sat down and the moderator started the debate with, in any other circumstances, an ordinary question: In what public spaces of the city do you spend more time? If you were not a 24 hours addict to urban streaming webcams, this question might otherwise have been normal.

Let me explain myself: me and two other colleagues (an engineer and an architect) started a project called Open Urban Television (OUT)[3] that consists in setting out a series of streaming 24/7 webcams in the most important and iconic protest spaces of Madrid. This project takes the form of an online platform that could be accessed by any citizen at any time in order to watch what is going on with their public spaces.

Ok. Allow me to go back to the breakdown episode. At that moment, I went completely blank [4] as I just realized that the most important public space in my daily life was Puerta del Sol. A hyper-touristic square that I was –and still continue- watching steadily through a digital screen, like a voyeur hikikomori, although I had practically never stepped on it during my daily activities.

During the answers of the other speakers, I was trying to process this sort of epiphany when, suddenly, the moderator dropped the second question: So, how much time do you spend in them? This only made it worse. Quantity. I did not know as I usually have it continuously open in both my computer and smartphone to see what is going on every now and then or I could spend several hours watching a certain demonstration. Furthermore, I usually save the recorded film and play it on conferences, seminars or to run an algorithm that evaluates the ambient sound and crowd.

But the interrogation continued: What do you do during that time? Eating popcorn, talking to my girlfriend or preparing dinner. Are you comfortable doing that? Of course, I am wearing my pyjamas. What are the elements that make you more comfortable and which ones hinder you? I like the songs in animals´ defenders protests and, sometimes, internet connection is a problem. How could these elements be improved? ………………. Etcetera.

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