This project is a critical approach towards the capitalization of our attention and was an enriching cooperation with ︎︎︎Sarah Mautsch.

A great amount of workers nowaday no longer work in transportation or production but make their living by managing and dealing with any form of “information”. Therefore our twenty first century economy is commonly called “information economy”. Yet, by definition, economics is the study of how a society uses its scarce resources – and information is anything but scarce.

The scarcest goods par excellence, money and time, are not becoming less. In fact, we take more time or earn more. These goods are becoming more tight because the opportunities to use or spend them are rapidly increasing. In other words, the true scarce good is attention: Attentions value rises, because the amount of potential uses, of content, inexorably grows. The media as ubiquitous financial institutions are capitalizing attention (Franck, 1998) and the market players put effort in persuation to earn most of available attention and apply methods, where they collect data on our behaviour, to find out, what kind of design grabs our attention better than the other. To clarify: Guiding users through systems with making right design choices (for example making important functionality more noticeable) is not something we disapprove, however distracting users for own reasons, that don’t benefit them, is. This is happening without us noticing it most of the time because attention has no evident graspable value. On the other hand common phrases as “Please pay attention” or “I can’t give you my full attention right now” are perfectly normal on daily basis – almost as if this state of awareness was a substance.
In a cyberspace economy that produces endless information how can we help people to keep house with this limited immaterial good, likewise limited materials or labor? 

We see an opportunity for people gaining back the control over their attention through making it a (crypto-)currency. Attention payment flows directly proportional to the time we spend on consuming content. Based on that an application to keep house with ones attention savings would be in one way or another connected to the Clock app. Also the user needs an overview of her transactions. There she can trace back her attention history up to every detail and incident she has spent her attention for. Another thing influenced by a ubiquitous attention currency is that attention is deeply connected to our awareness and stade of concentration. Therefore including the features of the Health App is necessary to know when people are not spending any attention and why. To bring these features together we created a mobile app that replaces the now redundant Health-, Time- and Pay applications. Time will no longer be meassured but in the amount of attention we spent.

Paying Attention to What When and Who we pay attention to.

Franck, G. (1998) Okonomie der Aufmerksamkeit (The Economy of Attention), Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag.