NoordKaap Taxi (NK Taxi 2019)

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A POST-FUTURISTIC FAREWELL TO THE ANALOGUE CAR Since the Futurists praised the automobile as the ultimate tool for human progress, it has become one of the most significant consumer goods of the 20th century. With the rise of nationalism in Europe, Futurism blended in with the enthusiasm for war that characterised many intellectual and artistic groups on the threshold of the First World War. Industrialisation, speed, noise, aggression and technical innovations were sources of several manifestos that got published between 1909 and 1914. The publication of Filippo Marinetti’s “Manifesto del Futurismo” on the front page of Le Figaro in 1914 kicked off the new industrial era; the avant-garde was born and raced itself into the future. Though later overthrown by ever new avant-garde movements, it was Futurism that cemented in its very name a fundamental aspect of the twentieth century – that is, an indestructible belief in the future. In the second part of the nineteenth century, and in the first part of the twentieth, the myth of the future reached its peak. Based on this belief, political action was formed: liberalism and social democracy, nationalism, communism and even anarchism shared at least one common idea: despite the darkness of 10 the present, the future would be better

and brighter. The future med everlasting for a long until in the 1970s people gan to realize that growth finite. Neoliberal economic practice, imposed by Great Britain’s Iron Lady MargaThatcher and later by US president Ronald Reagan, put end to the collective belief in a prosperous future.

seetime, bewas ret an

As the Italian media theorist Franco (Bifo) Berardi describes in After the Future (2011), we have entered an era beyond the future, namely the post-future. Berardi does not focus on the year 1989 when Communism fell. He places the end of the future in the year 1977, when the modern Western concept of the future as a linear, progressive development came to an end. Berardi supports this time indication through phenomena such as the RAF campaign that resulted in the German Autumn, the rise of punk with the Sex Pistols screaming No future for you – no future for me, as well as the post-’68 radical movement Autonomia in Italy. Parallel to these rather politics-driven developments, technological discovery also caused the collapse of the idea of the future. Future is not only a dimension of time, but also a dimension of space. Its promise lies in a space we do not know yet, one that we can discover and 11 exploit. In the meantime, the speed of external machines has moved into the

information domain and every centimetre of our living environment seems to have gotten colonised. As the oil age shaped itself and ruined the environment, the digital era now exercises its power over politics and society. The unprecedented subversive possibilities of cyberspace are increasingly appropriated by market-driven companies.

On the one hand, the industry has to get rid of the combustion engine, while on the other hand, it has to convince a new generation of consumers of the urgency of its products. The object that guaranteed individual autonomy and mobile self-determination is slowly but surely getting fully digitised and networked.

However, even when faith in the future collapsed, the car remained a reliable product that provi-

The year 2019 is dominated by two opposing positions that collide in a frontal collision, where the farewell to analogue cars, driven by combustion engines, is deplored and acclaimed at the same time.

ded individual space, a sense of self-determination, a touch of autonomy. The car has always faithfully guided us through Western Modernity, and continued to embody the concept of a promising future. It proved resistant to many crucial political and economic crises. At least, to this day. In this momentum of the digital revolution, our ‘rolling uterus’ is merely an outdated, polluting object. When the car got stuck in long traffic jams, it was easily overtaken by the speed of big data on the digital superhighway. In order to survive, the car industry is radically re-inventing itself, keeping up with Google’s Android Auto, Apple’s Carplay and Amazon’s Alexa, that are turning the car into a source of its drivers’ movement profiles and other valuable consumer behaviour patterns. In this era of ‘surveillance capitalism’, aptly described by economist Shoshana Zuboff, data are being gathered from human experiences to predict and influence our future behaviour. These predic12 tions contain the new economic profit and certainly also the car industry’s profit.

NOORDKAAP TAXI / COLOGNE … a taxi that doesn’t rily take you where want to go. A ride

necessayou runaway along the parameters of the here and now.

This is Cologne, Spring 2019. Each Friday morning the road traffic in the city centre is shut down, in order to let a growing number of young protesters pass through. Students and scholars are skipping their classes and resolutely demand a cleaner environment, a brighter future. Not only for German cities, but worldwide. They fight for car-free cities and an emission-free society: “Wir sind hier, wir sind laut, weil ihr unsere Zukunft klaut”. At the same time, the election campaign for the European 13 Parliament is in full swing, filling public space with election posters.

The main access roads to downtown Cologne are a perfect setting for the AfD (extreme right-wing populist party) poster campaign. While stuck on the A57, with the silhouette of the Dom cathedral looming in your front window, their slogans sharpen the political atmosphere; “Finger Weg von unserem Diesel” and “Geht’s noch Brüssel? Diesel retten!”. The AfD is interfering with the madness, steering up the fear. Angry citizens appear to be terrified of a growing number of Diesel bans in German cities, of loosing jobs and autonomy. Wearing yellow vests to match French protesters whose movement began as a reaction to proposed fuel tax hikes, they hit the streets shouting “Diesel drivers resist”. Noordkaap Taxi took place in the streets of Cologne. Together with the artists JODI (NL), Max Dovey (UK), Abner Preis (NL) and Inari Wishiki (NL), Noordkaap called upon a postfuturistic farewell to the analogue car. With a series of custom-made taxi rides throughout the city, the artists created work on the cutting edge of digital culture and performance. Their different artistic perspectives and critical look at the automobile and the digitalisation of private space resulted in intimate happenings. Noordkaap Taxi was part of the project Memory 14 Stations, initiated by the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the

World) that reached out to the citizens of Cologne and the NRW region to become public historians. Noordkaap focused on the car, as an object that we can all relate to, and created a link between the local context, unconventional means of public outreach and the Memory Station 15 project.




























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As revolutionary as the Futurists, JODI catapults the passenger into the digital revolution composed of speed, energy, aggression, noise and new technologies. Their digital diorama kidnaps the senses for the duration of a taxi ride. “taxi-k” consists entirely of found footage ripped from Youtube: 360-degree selfies of illegal street races through the outskirts of Cologne, excerpts of computer games, tankers that roll over cars in battle-ravaged city streets, bacchanal bachelor parties with screaming girls celebrating their bourgeois lives in disco limousines, apocalyptic streets full of burning cars during the G20 protests in Hamburg, and men proudly displaying their highway fetishism. “404 Schrott aller Art” features material filmed at a car junkyard in Cologne-Porz, mixed with image footage of Deutz engines in the sky and on the self-driving car. An unparalleled perspective creates uncanny crash tests along destroyed cars and a science-fiction landscape where the camera lens is speeding up. Soon you discover that the implemented image recognition software in JODI’s VR roller-coaster is quite unreliable. Motorcycles become backpacks, tires become people, people become cars. How solid is our physical perception of the environment 44 around us in a world dominated by algorithms and VR entertainment?

Image recognition is a term for computer technologies that can recognize certain people, animals, objects or other targeted subjects through the use of algorithms and machine learning concepts. It involves the use of convolutional neural networks to filter images through a series of artificial neuron layers. Convolutional neural filters perform certain tasks on images to improve the program’s ability to identify the picture’s subject. This process enables self-thinking cars to learn how to make decisions in crucial, life-threatening situations: how does the self-thinking car deviate from a group of young cycling school children, or from the senior driving his electric scooter? Image recognition is the topic of a lot of controversy in consumer spaces. Facebook has begun to use image recognition aggressively, as has Google in its own digital spaces. There is a lot of discussion about how rapid advances in image recognition will affect privacy and security around the world. 1. In 2017 Germany got internationally highly regarded when it was the first country to introduce by law a set of guidelines for automotive driving. Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt: “We are implementing ethical rules for self-driving computers.” One of the key elements states that the self thinking car is not permitted to discriminate while making dissicions. • In the event of unavoidable accident situations, any distinction between individuals based on personal features (age, gender, physical or mental constitution) is impermissible; • In every driving situation, it must be clearly regulated and apparent who is responsible for the driving task: the human or the computer; • Drivers must always be able to decide themselves whether their vehicle data are 45 to be forwarded and used (data sovereignty).
















SEPIEDEH FAZLALI AUS KÖLN SEPIEDEH FAZLALI FROM COLOGNE Es war wohl einer der heißesten Sommertage als ich mich am 29. Juni 2019 von meiner Wohnung zum Ebertplatz aufmachte, um eine Fahrt mit dem Noordkap Taxi zu unternehmen. Das Thermometer zeigte über 35 Grad an. Nur wenige Menschen waren trotz Wochenendes auf den Straßen, denn die Hitze war so erdrückend, dass kaum Luft zum Atmen blieb. Köln glich einem riesigen versmogten Tropenhaus, einer städtischen Saunalandschaft, nur mit Textilpflicht. It was probably one of the hottest summer days when I set off from my apartment to Ebertplatz on June 29, 2019 to take a Noordkap taxi ride.The thermometer showed over 35 degrees. Despite the weekend only a 2 6 few people were out on the streets,

because the heat was so oppressive that there was hardly any air left to breathe. Cologne resembled a huge smogged tropical house, an urban sauna landscape, with only textile obligations. Mein für die hatte ich online geEin paar zuvor hatte Vorbeigehen Taxischalter Ebertplatz deckt und am selben

Ticket Taxifahrt bereits bucht. Tage ich im den am entdann Abend zufällig von der Aktion im Internet gelesen. «Taxifahrt», «Umwelt», «Virtuelle Realität» das klang alles interessant, wobei ich mir unter der Umsetzung nicht viel vorstellen konnte. «Mal wieder typisch künstlerische Freiheit, Texte mit so viel Spielraum zu formulieren, dass alles möglich ist», dachte ich. Mein Versuch, Freund*innen zum Mitkommen zu animieren scheiterte aus Lust-, Hitzeund Zeitgründen. Kosten war63 en keine Ausrede, denn die Fahrt war

gratis, also buchte ich eine Single-Fahrt. Ich fragte mich, ob das Taxi wohl eine Art Rikscha sei und ich als Single-Person eng an eng mit einer mir unbekannten schwitzenden Person bei der Hitze einen Teil meiner Lebenszeit verbringen würde. Die Vorstellung erfreute mich nicht gerade, aber da ich nicht wusste, was auf mich zukommen würde, blieb ich gelassen. Zumal ich an dem Tag froh war, mich überhaupt nach draußen geschleppt zu haben. I had already booked my ticket for the taxi ride online. A few days before I had discovered the taxi counter at the Ebertplatz while passing by and happened to read about the project on the internet the same evening. «Taxi ride», «environment», «virtual reality» all sounded interesting, but I couldn’t imagine much about the performance. « Once again, typically artistic freedom to formulate texts with so much leeway that anything is possible, » I thought. My 64 attempt to encourage friends to come along failed

for reasons of mood, heat and time. Costs were not an excuse, because the ride was for free, so I booked a single ride. I wondered if the taxi was a kind of Rikscha and if I as a Single-Person was going to spend a part of my life close to an unknown person sweating in the heat. The thought didn’t exactly amuse me, but since I didn’t know what to expect, I remained calm. Especially since I was happy to have dragged myself out there at all that day. An dem Taxischalter musste ich nur kurz warten, bis ich von einem jungen Mann zu einem « ganz normalen » Taxi geführt

wurde. Ich war sehr beruhigt, dass sich meine Schweiß-Rikscha-Vorstellung zeitgleich in Luft auflöste. Er erklärte mir auf Englisch, dass ich gleich 20 Minuten in der Gegend herumgefahren würde, mit einer VR-Brille auf dem Kopf. Als ich mich ins Taxi setzte, hatte ich das Gefühl das erste 65 Mal seit Tagen wieder richtig

Atmen zu können. Es war wirklich ein Noordkaap Taxi, so angenehm kühl. Ich setzte mich hinten auf die Rückbank, der junge Mann nach vorne neben den Taxifahrer. Er reichte mir die VR-Brille und warnte mich noch, dass wenn mir schlecht werden sollte, ich die Brille jeder Zeit abnehmen könnte. Es gäbe zwei Videos zur Auswahl zwischen denen ich auch wechseln könne. Die Brille fühlte sich schwer und kalt an meinem Kopf an und ich musste aufpassen, dass ich mir meine Haare nicht langzog oder vor den Gläsern hatte. At the taxi counter I only had to wait a short time until a young man led me to a completely “normal” taxi. I was very relieved that my sweaty Rickshaw idea disappeared into thin air at the same time. He explained to me in English that I would drive around the area for 20 minutes with VR glasses on my head. When I sat down in the taxi, I had the feeling of being able to breathe properly for the first time in days. It was really a Noordkaap Taxi, so 66 pleasantly cool. I sat in the back seat, the young

man in front next to the taxi driver. He handed me the VR glasses and also warned me that if I got nauseous, I could take them off at any time. There were two videos to choose from and I could switch between them. The glasses felt heavy and cold on my head and I had to take care that I did not have my hair stretched out or in front of the lenses. Schon ging die Fahrt los. Das Gefühl war ganz seltsam. Ich saß in diesem Taxi- mitten in Köln, wurde von der Fahrt hin und her geschwenkt, hörte Geräusche von draußen und gleichzeitig war ich abgeschottet- in der virtuellen Welt, in der fragmentartig Bilder und Videos gezeigt wurden, die miteinander kombiniert wurden. Im Video fuhr ich in verschiedenen Fahrzeugen, sah die Fahrt aus unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln, fuhr durch Alltagsszenen sowie Kriegsgebiete. Es gab so viel zu entdecken. Ich drehte meinen Kopf immer wieder in alle Richtungen bis das Video vorüber war. Einen kurzen Moment nahm ich 67 die Brille ab und bekam das

zweite Video eingestellt. Dort hatte ich die Perspektive aus einem Spielzeug-Auto, was zwischen normal großen Autos auf einer Art Parkplatz umherfuhr. Das Auto fuhr seitwärts und quer. Ich fühlte mich eingeengt von den großen Autos, die auf mich «herabsahen», die meinem kleinen Wagen den Weg versperrten. Diese Blickwinkel und die Bewegungsrichtungen waren unglaublich, jedoch auch unglaublich herausfordernd für meinen Körper, so dass mir innerhalb kürzester Zeit speiübel wurde und ich das Video unterbrechen musste. Kurz darauf kamen wir wieder am Ebertplatz an und ich wurde aus dem kühlen Taxi in die heiße Wirklichkeit entlassen. The started away. ling

ride right The feewas quite strange. I sat in this taxi in the middle of Cologne, was swung back and forth by the ride, heard noises from outside and at the same time I was isolated - in the 68 virtual world, in which fragmentary pictures

and videos were shown, that were combined with each other. In the video I drove in different vehicles, saw the ride from different angles, drove through everyday scenes as well as war zones. There was so much to discover. I kept turning my head in all directions until the video was over. A short moment I took off the glasses and got the second video tuned. There I had the perspective from a toys car, which drove between normal sized cars on a kind of parking lot. The car drove sideways and across. I felt squeezed by the large cars that «looked down» on me, that blocked the way for my little car. These viewing angles and the movement directions were unbelievable, but also incredibly challenging for my body, so that within a very short time I felt 69 sick and had to interrupt the video. Shortly thereafter

we arrived back at Ebertplatz and I was released from the cool taxi into the hot reality. Verstanden, was das Noordkaap Taxi genau mit Nachhaltigkeit zu tun haben könnte, habe ich nicht. Dennoch hat es einen bleibenden Eindruck hinterlassen und mich im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes «bewegt». Schon alleine, weil die Temperaturen im Juni in Köln derart hoch waren, was wirklich alles andere als gut für die Umwelt ist und für mich definitiv auf einen Klimawandel hinweist. I did not comprehend exactly what the Noordkaap Taxi could have to do with sustainability. Nevertheless, it left a lasting im-

pression and «moved» me in the truest sense of the word. Just because the temperatures in Cologne in June were so high, which is really far from good for the environment and definitively indi70 cates a climate change for me.

Zeitgleich konnte ich als « privilegierte1» person diese abgefahrene «fancy» Kunst-Taxifahrt in einem klimatisierten Wagen nur für mich ganz alleine zu unternehmen, was wohl der krassestes Widerspruch an sich ist. Danke liebes Noordkaap Taxi. At the same time, as a «privileged1» person, I was able to do this «fancy» art taxi ride in an air-conditioned car just for myself, which is probably the most striking contradiction in terms. Thank you dear Noordkaap Taxi. 1. Ich lebe in Deutschland, einem Land ohne Krieg, in dem kein Mensch einfach so auf der Straße sterben muss, habe das Wissen mich über Angebote wie das Noordkaap Taxi zu informieren, dieses zu buchen, daran ohne Probleme wie körperliche Einschränkungen teilzunehmen etc. 1. I live in Germany, a country without war, in which no one has to die on the streets, I have the knowledge to inform myself about offers like the Noordkaap Taxi, to book it, to participate in it without problems like bodily limitations, etc. Sepiedeh Fazlali Kognitions - und Mesenschaftlerin, Pädagogin, teurin und Kulturmittlerin. SepieCopeme-


71 deh Fazlali

gnitive and media scientist, dagogue, editor and cultural diator.




SAVYASACHI ANJU PRABIR …disorientating, uncomfortable in some cases, mostly with older people, or people who hadn’t experienced VR before and even some kids who joined seem to enjoy it really. I think they are far more used to digital technology being all around them all the time. Mostly because the videos were kind of overpowering in a sense, disorienting for lots of people, we would end up having some conversation during the ride itself. From the taxi drivers there was mostly just fascination about what is going on, what are these headsets doing and what are people watching back there, there was curiosity about this piece of technology. In the first two weekends I had the same taxi driver who was form Pakistan. It was very convenient for me that I could talk in Hindi with the taxi driver. I could more easy explain about the idea of the project or just what we were trying to do. He also somehow started to participate in the ride; make sudden brakes to disorient the passengers even more and speed up really fast after a red light so that they felt it much more. That was really nice. In some cases not so nice, because people really felt sick. The driver also raised a lot of questions about the point of it all, why this was 76 happening and why it makes sense to spend money on pro-

jects like this. (Noordkaap red.) and I could enmore in a contribute the ride

That is why Nica Taxi hosting team reflected on how one gage the taxi drivers way that they would their opinion about itself.

It was in the space

an interesting project context of art in public in general. It brings the artworks outside of the gallery and museum space and is far more accessible for people than the common artspaces where it is a bit more polished. Also because of the fact that it took place in a kiosk and Cologne obvious has a strong kiosk culture. We had a lot of people approaching us, thinking it was a kiosk to buy a beer… excerpt from an interview with Savyasachi Anju Prabir, MA student in Visual Anthropology (University of Münster). Host JODI taxi.
























COLOGNE, WHAT IS YOUR MOTHER’S MAIDEN NAME? The future of the automobile is digital – with fully electric and automatic driving, the robotic car and the sharing economy. Companies like UBER, Dixi Chuxing and Apple undermine the idea of ownership. Moreover, Google’s Android Auto, Apple’s Carplay and Amazon’s Alexa are turning the car into a source of valuable consumer behaviour patterns. This transformation matches a broader process: data is being gathered from human experiences to predict and influence our coming behaviour. In these predictions for the future consumer and their products lies the new profit, a system described by economist Shoshana Zuboff as Surveillance Capitalism. Max Dovey’s «Cologne, What is Your Mother’s Maiden Name?” was a participatory taxi tour that used GPS, psychogeography1 and augmented reality to create psychological portraits of the city. Passengers were asked to play the game «I spy» and record their experience as they explored the urban landscape. Their written observations were then analysed for their psychometric properties, similar to the techniques used by companies such as Cambridge Anaconsumers lytica2 to target via online advertising 102 and political campaigning, to produce a psy-

chogeograThe psychoproduced workshops artists from Künste der Emma fmann, Argia

phy of Cologne. metric taxi tour was as part of a series of in collaboration with the Akademie der Welt Youth Academy: Bieck, Johannes HofBessie Normand and Helen Wehner.

The diffepast, counfamian ture. inof

fixed route went through rent stages of Cologne, its present and future, entered some old friends and liar sounds, and discovered automated augmented fuComplemented by artistic terventions, the observations the passengers were influenced and manipulated by different media experiences. All the data gathered during the rides appeared directly on a corresponding Googlemap on-screen at the Taxi Kiosk. Situationism 3.0, at your service.

1. Guy Debord defined psychogeography in his «Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography» (1955) as the experimental exploration of the environment. What influence does the geographical environment have on perception, psychic experience and behavior, are Debords central issues. Methods of psychogeography are wandering, drifting or a dérive. This is connected with the process of walking or collecting, recording, mapping and misappropriating found objects, conversations with passers-by and sounds. 2. Cambridge Analytica Ltd (CA) was a British political consulting firm which combined data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic communication during the electoral processes. The personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users were acquired in 2015. CA performed data analysis services for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign (2015), for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign (2016) as well as for Leave.EU. In the course of the Facebook data scandal, 103 the company closed in 2018.


In his work, Max Dovey explores political narratives that emerge from technology and digital culture, and manifests them into live performances. As part of a two-day workshop, participants explored methods to produce location-based experiences. Max introduced them to site-specific media art and together they explored methods of the Situationists International and the dérive as a mode of re-navigating the urban environment. Another point of departure was the French Mathematician Literature group Oulipo that featured writers such as Georges Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino. While performing a series of Exhausting-a-Crowd3 writing exercises, the participants explored their city in intensive ways, and together with Max, developed routes for the taxi ride. This lead to a combination of old-school Situationist methods to generate language that could then be analysed for personality traits and psychometric properties. 3. ‘Exhausting a crowd’ is the name of a digital artwork by Kyle Mcdonald. The website shows a continual video loop of a busy public space. The viewers are invited to annotate and attach comments to create a layered narrative exploring public surveillance. It is based on the 1944 book by George Perec titled ‘An Attempt at Exhausting a place in Paris’ in which the author attempts to document everything he experiences from a bench in centeral Paris for three days. The result is a book of near- automatic writing where visual and auditory experiences repeat to create a textual sensory experience documented in the writing.


TAXI …pay attention now, observe, type in what you see, watch out, I spy with my little eye, don’t get weary now… The taxi ride started in front of the Noordkaap Taxi Kiosk, offering a view on the traffic and pedestrians that endlessly circulate around the Ebertplatz, with the sound piece “Tackt” by Argia Helen Wehner, an automated recital of the phonetic sounds that she transcribed during a writing exercise at the corner of Ebertplatz. «Tackt» consists of a translation of ambient urban noises,performed by computer software voices in the three most common languages in contemporary Cologne (German, Turkish, Italian). The piece would wipe out daily worries of the passengers and sharpen their senses before actually getting in the taxi. After “Tackt”, a host guided the passengers to the taxi and handed out tablets. As people typed in a nickname, or username, the taxi headed for the touristic Altstadt. During the ride, an intervention by Bessie Normand in the form of an angry poem echoed from the speakers that referred to places the taxi passed by, in order to manipulate the observation of the passengers.On the ruins of the acclaimed German motor industry, the Industrial Ghost Stories tour manifested itself as a collective tribute to a piece of Cologne, which will disappear completely in the short time to come. “Gelber schmutziger Himmel. Gelbschmutziger Himmel. 105 Ein verdammter Scheißdreck von Himmel. Ein mieser gelber schmutziger Kölner verfluchter

elender Kackhimmel (…) Als ich zum ersten Mal nach Köln kam, sah ich nur noch Fratzen. Fratzen in der Straßenbahn, Fratzen auf Plätzen und Straßen. Mit ihren kleinen Büdchenfressen, ihrer kleinen Büdchenmentalität, mit ihrer Kölsch- und Halve Hahn-Mentalität und dann noch Literatur oder Kunst. Zum Scheißen. Und zum Weggehen, was ich tun werde.” Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, early 1970’s

Most people turned out to be physically unfit for one of the many affordances promised by the manufacturers of the self-thinking car. The surplus attention gifted from not having to concentrate on the road can be directed towards interior screens and in-car entertainment. For many however, using a tablet and typing in a moving vehicle is a very efficient way to quickly feel nauseous, so the ‘free time’ created by automated driving may be spent nursing a sore head. To help recovery upon returning, passengers could clean their thoughts in a parked car, where a virtual reality headset took passengers through a fully automated car wash. Through VR Goggles, the installation alluded to a post-human future of an automated self-service carwash. While it encouraged the passenger to consider our role in a future of increasing automation, at the same it paid an homage to the culture of carwashes in Germany NRW. After the VR carwash, passengers were guided back to the Kiosk where they received a printout of their journey. A work by Emma Bieck formed the closing act of the tour.

“Carwash”, 2019 VR installation Johannes Hofmann. A silver-covered VW, indirect referring to Wolf Vostell’s sculpture “Ruhender Verkehr” 4 4. Ruhender Verkehr is an iconic action sculpture on the Hohenzollernring, created in 1969 by the Fluxus artist Wolf Vostell, and consists of a passenger car completely embedded in concrete, whose 106 contours have been preserved in a roughly simplified form

Passengers picked a personal Tarot Card with mysterious predictions for the future, redesigned with quotes from Situationist International. According to the psycholinguist James W. Pennebaker, words, and more specifically pronouns, can reveal new 107 insights into an individual’s psychological state, as he describes in his book «The

Secret Life of Pronouns» and accompanying software «Language Inquiry Word Count» (LIWC). By analysing texts using the LIWC dictionary, words are indexed into emotional categories that range from positive emotion (posemo) to negative emotion (negemo). The software attempts to categorise language into implicit emotional significance and has 127 subjects to help identify emotional traits hidden within words. The LIWC dictionary is used to generate a personality profile of the author of any written text, applying the OCEAN model used in psychometrics. The OCEAN model is a popular taxonomy for predicting an individual’s personality through certain traits and behaviours, each letter standing for a different ‘trait’ of an individual – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. In his 2016 presentation titled «The Power of Big Data and Psychogeographics», Alexander Nix impressively claimed to have «between four and five thousand data points on every adult in the United States» . According to Nix, when these are combined with the OCEAN personality model, they can help produce tailored messages and specific advertising to penetrate individuals’ psyche and influence their behaviour. While the effectiveness of Nix’s method has been disputed and is very hard to prove, it demonstrates an alarming agenda of using neuro-marketing and hyper-personalisation to communicate tai- 108 lored messages to an individual and manipulate their behaviour.

The eruption of these psychological experiments into public knowledge ultimately lead to the closing of Cambridge Analytica in 2018. In the “The Great Hack”, a documentary investigating the use of data profiling in electoral campaigns, ex CEO of Cambridge Analytica Julian Wheatland wistfully reflects on their activities and suggests that they were simply the unlucky ones to get discovered. Unfortunately, this is the case – there are hundreds of companies that specialise in targeted advertising and more and more attempting to use personality analysis to manipulate behaviours. However due to the important work of journalists, academics, film makers and artists the social experiments that have been taking place behind the glaze of the computer screen, the public is increasingly aware of the psychological games used to distort views and manipulate behaviours. In «Cologne, What is Your Mother’s Maiden Name?” personality models and psycho-geographic are created from the individual’s experiences and observations of a city. Software that had been used to identify differences between individuals and amplify polar extremes between citizens was reconfigured to portray the psychological characteristics of a city.















ich bin fast Mitte 40 und rauche noch. Meine 16 Jahre alte Tochter muss ich manchmal etwas antreiben, um zu Fridays For Future zu gehen, was mich irritiert. Andererseits muss ich auch mich manchmal etwas antreiben. I’m almost in my mid-forties and still smoking. My 16-year-old daughter sometimes needs a little push to go to Fridays For Future, which irritates me. On the other hand, sometimes I also have to push myself a little. ..analog? digital? Meines Erachtens geht es mehr um einen umfassenden Umbau von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, der nachhaltige Entwicklung ermöglicht; im Kern geht 122 weniger um Verbrennungsmo-

toren oder andere Antriebe, sondern vielleicht mehr um Mobilität im besonderen und Klimagerechtigkeit im allgemeinen. Den Gelbwesten oder ähnlichen Gruppen, die Bedenken äußern, ist es vielleicht egal, mit welcher Technik sie unterwegs sind; wichtig ist, dass sie Zugang zu allen Bereichen der Gesellschaft haben und weiterhin haben werden, dass Teilhabe möglich ist, dass die Veränderungen ohne (weitere) (auch materielle) Spaltung der Gesellschaft vonstatten geht, die sie (weiter) benachteiligt oder ausschließt. Die Forderungen von Fridays For Future oder ähnlichen Initiativen sind und bleiben dabei natürlich faktisch voll und ganz begründet. …analogue? digital? In my opinion, it is more about a comprehensive restructuring of the economy and society that makes sustainable development possible; in essence, it is less about combustion engines and perhaps more about mobility in particular and climate 123 justice in general. The yellow vests or similar groups

that express concern may not be concerned about whatever technique they are using to move forward. What is important is that they have and will continue to have access to all areas of society, that participation is and will remain possible, that the changes take

place without (further) (also material) social division, which (further) disadvantages or excludes them. The demands of Fridays For Future or similar initiatives are and remain, of course, factually fully justified. Was hat das jetzt mit Mit dem Noordkaap Taxi 2019/ Cologne zu tun? Ich bin mir nicht ganz sicher. Einerseits irgendwie gar nichts, andererseits irgendwie und wenn man will natürlich ganz viel. What does this have to do with the Noordkaap Taxi 2019/ Cologne? I’m not quite sure. On the one hand somehow nothing at all, on the other hand somehow and if you like of course a lot.

Wir sind mit einem Taxi - Individualverkehr 124 mit nicht nachhaltiger Technik -

durch die Stadt gefahren, wobei eben diese samt ihrer Gesellschaft und Infrastruktur und systemisch wenig nachhaltig sind. Ich war allerdings auf einem anderen Trip; mehr so eine phänomenologische Wahrnehmungsreise, ohne festen oder vorher festgelegten Kontext…Kontrolle abgeben, Freiräume entstehen lassen, Assoziationen pflegen. Das sollten wir ja auch, das war doch die ausdrückliche Aufforderung und Anregung, glaube ich. Aber klar, wir fahren durch eine manifeste Welt, die zumindest einige Parameter und Reize vorgibt und dann ist da noch die persönliche Erfahrung und die Gewohnheit etc. … also, das mit der Freiheit ist ja sowie so eine Art «PR-Gag des Unterbewusstseins», habe ich mal gelesen; tatsächlich seien wir nicht frei, irgendwie.

We drove through the city in a taxiindividual transport with non-sustainable technology -, whereby the city 125 and its society and infrastructure are not very

sustainable. However, I was on another trip; more of a phenomenological journey of perception, without a fixed or predetermined context… Surrender control, create free spaces, cultivate associations. That is what we should do, because that was the explicit invitation and suggestion, I believe. But of course, we’re driving through a manifest world that at least specifies some parameters and stimuli, and then there’s the personal experience and routine, etc. …so that’s freedom, yes, as well as a kind of «PR gag of the subconscious», I’ve once read; actually we’re not free, somehow. Die Karte bzw. der Stadtplan mit den eingetippten Assoziationen schließlich, gefiel mir gut, fand ich irgendwie interessant und ermöglichte eine Art Reflexion auf die Assoziation. Eine gelungene Dokumentation und ein schönes Produkt. I liked the city map with the typed associa126 tions. I found it somehow interesting and

it enabled a of reflection the associaA successdocumentation a beautiproduct.

kind on tion. ful and ful

Etwas tun und etwas geschehen lassen, etwas bedeuten und hinterfragen, in einem Rahmen, der aber auch verlassen werden kann und soll, das alles finde ich immer sehr wichtigund wertvoll und genieße das sehr. Doing something letting mething pen,

and sohapmeaning and questioning something, within a framework that both can and should be forsaken, I always find all this very important and valuable and enjoy it very much.

Soweit, mit Grüßen Dustin So far, with greetings Dustin






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INDUSTRIAL GHOST STORIES focused on the influence of the motor vehicle industry in Cologne. In the district of Mülheim-Deutz, Germany’s industrial history was written. Here, approximately 33,000 people manufactured motors, machines and industrial equipment at the end of the 19th century. After a wave of outsourcing labour during the neoliberal peak in the 1980s, the industrial buildings of the car industry in Cologne1 partly got dismantled. Abandoned fabrics provided the perfect ambience for the techno scene and artists that took over the area. In a relatively small area, surrounded by former industrial sites and flanked by colossal new construction developments, artist and storyteller Abner Preis took on the role of a city guide. In a rather popular scientific manner, he associated the past with the present, pointing out concrete illustrations that made politically driven transitions and the ongoing gentrification in Deutz-Mulheim tangible. Preis brought out the ghosts of the past by combining classical storytelling with augmented reality. Stories got activated in virtual environments that highlighted aspects of the local history: from the 24-hour roaring machines and hard-working factory labourers during 146 industrialisation, as well as the grievous history of the

forced labour that took place in the motor factory during WOII, to the Turkish migrant workers’ uprisings in the Ford factories in the 1970s, and the notorious techno parties that filled the empty halls with underground energy in the 1990s. The Industrial Ghost Stories tour brought together small groups of people who mostly did not know each other. Together they explored this little area filled with universal stories and memories. In the night time they searched for the seven AR markers, designed in the typography of the signposts on the old factories, listened to the stories, placed flowers at a white bicycle where a student once got killed in a car accident, while sharing thoughts and conversations. Finally each tour got crowned with a joint toast. Shot glasses with Klosterfrau Melissengeist2 got served by the artist from the trunk of a car. On the ruins of the acclaimed German motor industry, the Industrial Ghost Stories tour manifested itself as a collective tribute to a piece of Cologne, which will disappear completely in the short time to come. 1. The motor vehicle industry in Cologne has always been known as the birthplace of the automobile. In 1864 Nikolaus August Otto, the discoverer of the four-stroke motor, founded the first motor-building factory, the Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz, today‘s Deutz AG. The four-stroke engine was primarily intended to enable smaller companies to keep up with industrial developments. It was the prelude to the petrol engine, which was later invented by the 147 Gottlieb Daimler. His company’s director, engine was lighter and more suitable for mobile use. In addition to Deutz AG, other car manufacturers had their companies or

subsidiaries in Cologne from the start, like Ford Werke GmbH, one of the world’s largest motor vehicle manufacturers, that moved to Cologne in 1931. Today the branch includes Volvo, Mazda, Citroen, DAF Trucks Deutschland GmbH, Renault Deutschland AG, Nissan Centre Europe GmbH and Toyota Deutschland. 2. Klosterfrau Healthcare Group has its operational headquarters in Cologne. Melissengeist is a traditional miracle drink with an alcohol content of 79%, used for nervous complaints, sleep disorders, stage fright, sensitivity to weather or complaints of the stomach and intestines caused by nervousness as well as for muscle soreness and Hexenschuss (lumbago). Pacemaker Erst der Fluss hat dich wirklich getauft Den Protestanten aus dem Osten auf dem Weg zu uns nach Haus Du hast die natürliche Grenze durchschwommen und die der Grenzziehenden auch Bist weitergezogen. Nach Köln. Dein Verstand hat es dir geraten und dieses Gefühl im Bauch. Sie hatten dich erst in die eine dann in die andere Uniform gesteckt Jahrgang Neunzehnhundertvierunddreißig – schon als Kind mit braunem Dreck befleckt Im letzten Hemd der FDJ bist du noch einigermaßen sauber an neuen Ufern angekommen Raus aus dem Wasser gesprungen und bald schon wieder eingetaucht ins Stahlbad der nächsten Autofabrik Du wolltest fort, nu hattest du Ford – entschuldige das rheinische Kabarettpastiche –, weil dein innerer Kompass eben niemals lügt. Es ist die Haltung, die über die Stimmung siegt. Ich stell’ s mir vor, als kreativer Katholik: Du stehst am Band und die Produktion fließt immer weiter wie gestern noch die Elbe Da musst du heute durch und morgen durch und übermorgen fast dasselbe, vielleicht sogar ein Stündchen mehr, du kamst am Band heut nicht so wirklich hinterher Aber jeden Moment lebst du den Traum, jeder Augenblick verdrängt das Trauma. Die Stunden im Keller, die Leichen im Keller. Sie verblassen immer mehr, arbeitest du nur immer schneller Die Arbeit, durch die so viele schon zu Geistern wurden, ist deine Zukunft, Zweifel hast da du kaum. Doch die Halle, in der du stehst, während du an den Schräubchen drehst wirkt fast schon übermächtig groß, so wie ein viertes, fünftes Reich. Ein eigener Planet, und du bist klein. Ein kleines Licht. Aber eigentlich genau da, wo du hingehörst. An deinem Platz. Man sieht dich nicht. Auf einen Schemel haben sie dich gestellt, damit du an die Werkbank reichst Nur willst du höher hinaus und lernst und predigst Fleiß Ein Mann braucht ein Ziel – und muss ein Nest sich bauen. Keine Zeit? Die Neue Heimat, die baut es für dich. Schöner geht es kaum, gleich bei den Rheinauen. Neunzehn- 148 hundertdreiundsechzig wenn aus Deutz der Fordturm verschwindet (die Konkurrenz von KHD schläft halt nicht, auch dort gibt es viele tausend Seelen, die sich für Umsatz

schinden) Kommt es dann zur Welt, das erste deiner beiden Kinder. Der zweite Sohn folgt ein Jahrzehnt später kurz bevor die Gastarbeiter streiken Für eine D-Mark mehr pro Stunde. Sie schuften wie die Deutschen und wollen eben das Gleiche Du weißt aber was sich gehört und ziehst für die Firma in die Schlacht. Blut hast du gerochen, so wird ein Streik gebrochen. Die meisten Gastarbeiter schuften bald schon weiter, doch ein paar fressen wieder Muttererde. Sie wird sie auch begraben, nach Deutschland sind sie nur gekommen, um zu sterben. Du hast die Freiheit kurz gespürt und hast sie heftig abgeschüttelt. Werkzeugmacher bist du nun und längst selbst ein Werkzeug. Du hältst die Knochen hin, die du den anderen brichst. Denn die Firma hält was sie verspricht. Jeden Monat ein paar neue Batterien für dein kleines Licht. Aber ist der Preis nicht viel zu hoch? Mann, du verwandelst dich. Deine Faust schlägt mit der Wucht der Pressen und Motoren, dein Herz trommelt im Rhythmus der Schicht Du kannst so laut brüllen wie du willst. Am Telefon, vorm Spiegel, im Traum. „Ich bin kaputt!“ Man hört dich nicht. Mischt euch nicht ein, lauft einfach mit. So erklärst du den Söhnen die Geschichte. Denn immer nur die Kleinen, die werden einkassiert. Denen geht es an den Kragen, den ihr Stolz ihnen richtet. Das Leben ist und bleibt kein Heldenepos, da hülft auch die Sirene nüscht. Und die Politiker – die können dir nichts erzählen. Du lebst ja nicht auf dem Mond, bloß auf dem Trabanten am Zoo, wo auch fast jeder andere wohnt, der in der Autofabrik malocht. Und genau wie du, werden auch die niemals die Freiheit wählen. Den Fluss vor deiner Tür, den hast du nie im Leben überquert. Sie sind dir schnuppe, die Reste der Welt und die Überreste des industriellen Gemäuers, das heute so viel verspricht und nichts mehr hält. In diesen Hallen habe ich vor beinahe dreißig Jahren noch getanzt, weil ich anders werden wollte als du. Nicht von dir und deiner Presse wie die Karosse eines Ford Fiesta ausgestanzt. Kein Angestellter und kein modernes Tool. Habe mich bewegt zu Breakbeats, im Nebel und im Strobo. Kann mich als Geist noch vor mir sehen und fürchte mich schon so vor Dem was hier bald produziert wird. Echtes Leben mit Lebensqualität und Lebenssinn to go. Und was hörst du so wenn du im Sessel hockst und längst nicht mehr in den Fernseher schaust weil der schon lange aus deinem Innern wie aus einem Abbruchhaus heraus raucht? Ich wette, du lauschst der alten Maschine, die noch in der Ruine deinen Grabstein klopft. Mit der Inschrift: Ein kleines Lichtlein brannte zäh, bis es irgendwann erlosch.

“Pacemaker” was Frömberg within the Preis’ Industrial tour. Frömberg is and author from Coas an editor for the and Intro and publi-

written by Wolfgang context of Abner Ghost Stories 149 freelance journalist logne. He worked magazines Spex shed two novels.





NIKA SENICA …I heard about the project Noordkaap Taxi through my work as an exhibition guide at “Copy It” from the Academy of the Arts of the World here in Cologne. At the Taxi project I worked as a host. I saw it as a way to interact between the artist, in my case this was mainly Abner Preis, and the audience or the passengers that we made these art tours for. The difference between this and working at an exhibition space is big. Especially in terms of engaging with the public. Working at the Noordkaap Taxi was active, as well as physically demanding; running around, arranging the taxi rides, explaining things to the drivers and mediating what the project is actually about to the passengers. It was a nice way to get quick feedback from them. We’ve met a lot of people and through various discussions with them the project had a relaxed environment around it. I sometimes miss this active form of art as an exhibition guide.

or fifteen years and they know the city like the back of their hand. I think it would have been very interesting to involve them more intensively in creating the tours and to capture their perspectives… excerpt from an interview with Nika Senica, MA student Visual anthropology, media and documentary practices University of Münster. Host Abner Preis Industrial Ghost Story tours

The public that decided to join the tour was very diverse. I was expecting students of art or people who already know about the Academy or the Noordkaap, instead I saw a lot of diverse backgrounds among them. Abner Preis really tried to make people see things differently, to engage them into speaking their minds and share their own experiences. Some of the we’ve met have around in Co-


taxi drivers that been driving logne for twelve













TAXI INARI NOODLE the meter is running The kiosk’s checkout is flanked by two flat-screens with bright red numbers that arhythmically draw the attention. In the middle, a cheerful noodle salesperson. His handmade banners in characteristic taxi yellow and black are blowing in the wind. Welcome to the Taxi Noodle Bar. The price you pay for your meal is directly connected to the time it takes each individual consumer to eat their instant noodles. In other words: the more time spent, the higher the bill. The core principle of the taxi meter. A meter, often against better judgment, creates trust and enforces a certain authority when determining the economic value of products and services. Even though taxi meters, nitric oxide meters, tachometers and odometers can all be effortlessly manipulated. Taxi Noodle Bar only serves two customers at a time. The countdown timer starts. The first few bites are paired with a calmly increasing price indication, and the customers are still inclined to chat to the noodle vendor. First gradually, then more and more quickly, the price is rising, causing a race against time, and each other. While the noodle eating spirals out of control, wrestling with chopsticks and hot noodles, the conversation halts and the prices escalate. The salesperson smiles contently. Next please! Taxi Noodle was a hap- 168 pening that opened Noordkaap Taxi 2019 in Cologne. It showed the inhe-

rent conflict of interest between the customer and the one making the profit. In the noodle-bar-owner’s interest, the more time a customer spends, the better. Although they weren’t provided with instructions as to how quickly they should eat their noodles, customers did try to eat as quickly as possible. «This shows that a taxi-meter-like principle is naturally embedded in the standard mentality of human actions,» Inari says. Inari Wishiki works and lives in Rotterdam, and is an artist and researcher who founded TOFU (Technology Of Future Utopia). Inari is fed up with limitations posed by business as usual, seeking a way to eternally install too good to be true transactions into the real environment. He came up with revolutionary positions such as Banana Multiplier, Noodle Advertiser, and Mapo-Man. Taxi Inari Noodle was reminiscent of the other noodle bar project Inari ran back in 2010, where the movements of dead-end job workers were turned into a form of dance by the noodle machine. It was an attempt to further alienate the workers with a more intensive usage of a machine, seeking a way out from the typical working movements.








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COLOPHON Noordkaap Taxi 2019 This book is published on the occasion of the art project Noordkaap Taxi (6 – 29 june 2019) that took place in the public space and in the taxis of Cologne, Germany. Noordkaap Taxi was part of the project ‘Memory Stations’ throughout the NRW region, initiated by the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World).

PROJECT Participating artists Max Dovey, JODI, Abner Preis, Inari Wishiki Curated by Noordkaap Katja Diallo – artistic director Foundation Noordkaap, Dordrecht/ NL Hosts Savyasachi Anju-Prabir Lena Ditte Nissen Sebastian Platner Nora Rein Nika Senica In cooperation with Akademie der Künste der Welt/Cologne Workshop “Cologne, Your Mothers Mai8, 9, 30, 31 May at Academy, Cologne Lecture-perforJODI and Max 6 June 2019 Academy space,

What is den Name?” Youth mances by Dovey at Cologne

A Taxi Hap8 June 2019 Kiosk, Cologne Support Noordkaap the artists, hosts as private partners project ned.

pening at King Georg Sudermanplatz,

would like to thank the public and the well as national and foundations and local without whom this could not have happe-

Thanks Emma Bieck, Johannes Hofmann, Bessie Normand, Argia Helen Wehner Participants Youth Academy, David Bennewith - Tutor Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam, Wolfgang Frömberg, Jari Ortwig, Carla Jordao, Eva Eiselt, Celine Bellut, Nikolaos Konstantakis - Contributors Artist Projects, Eric van Vollenhoven & Ria van den Berg, Michael Marckwick - Website NKTaxi, Ewa Perlinska – Student Gerrit Rietveld Academie, and the Team of Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World) : Rafael Andrade-Córdova - Student Assistant Project Coordination, Ulrike Bausch - Student Assistant Press and Public Relations, Jenny Bohn Head of Press and Public Relations, Madhusree Dutta - Artistic Director, Imke Itzen - Managing Director, Jan Kryszons - Head of Production, Paloma Nana - Student Assistant Project Coordination, Clara Napp - Curatorial Project assistant, Ulrike Traub - Assistant to the Managing Director, Nora Wiedenhöft - Curatorial Project Assistant and Youth Academy Coordinator.

PUBLICATION Editors Katja Diallo, Inari Wishiki Contributors Savyasachi Anju-Prabir, Katja Diallo, Max Dovey, Sepiedeh Fazlali, Wolfgang FrĂśmberg, JODI, Dustin Neuneyer, Nika Senica, Inari Wishiki, Hannes Klug Copyediting Inge Hoonte Production Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, (Graphic Design Department & BookBinding workshop) Project photography and film Jeanne van der Horst, Jonathan Kastl, Jan Kryszons, Roel Weenink Graphic Design Samuel Pin Inari Wishiki Typeset in Times Ten LT Regular & Italic AG Book Rounded Bold Printing Drukkerij Raddraaier, Amsterdam, NL 1st Edition 150 Partner Akademie der KĂźnste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World)

Gerrit Rietveld Academie