stills “404 Schrott Aller Art”, 360 video JODI, 2019

JODI presented a unique moving piece of art specially developed for Noordkaap Taxi in Cologne. With a digital diorama they kidnapped the passengers senses for the duration of a gripping taxi ride. JODI
catapulted the viewer into populair digital culture with a Youtube footage overkill and implemented Image Recognition at a car graveyard in Cologne Porz.

After checking-in at the Kiosk, a host picked up the passengers and gave a brief explanation of what could be expected. Before entering their VRTaxi, one received a pair of VR glasses. Art doesn’t just often rub, it can also be totally annoying and literally make you sick. And this might exactly have been what JODI had in mind. With a digital diorama the senses got kidnapped for the duration of a taxi ride. As revolutionary as the Futurists, JODI catapulted the passenger into the digital revolution composed of speed, energy, aggression, noise and new technologies. JODI composed its first 360degrees film. “taxi-k” consisted entirely of found footage ripped from Youtube, the worldwide democratically composed archive filled with worthless nonsense: 360-degree selfies of illegal street races through the outskirts of Cologne, tankers that undisturbed roll over cars in battle-ravaged city streets, bachelor rides with screaming girls welcoming their bourgeois lives during bacchanal rides on disco limousines, computer games, cars set on fire in apocalypse streets during the G20 protests in Hamburg, men proudly displaying their highway fetishism.

stills from “taxi-k”, 360 video (14min) JODI, 2019

The second VRTAXI featured material JODI filmed at a car junkyard in Cologne-Porz mixed with image footage of Deutz engines in the sky. An unparalleled perspective created uncanny crash tests along destroyed cars, and a science-fictional landscape where the lens was speeding up in the dungeons of anonymous car parks. JODI implemented image recognition software.

Image recognition refers to computer technologies that can recognize certain people, animals, objects or other targeted subjects through the use of algorithms and machine learning concepts. It involves convolutional neural networks to filter images through a series of artificial neuron layers and helps machine learning programs to get better at identifying the subject of the picture. It enables self-thinking cars to ‘learn’ how to make decisions in crucial situations: does the self-thinking car deviate from a group of cycling school children, or from the senior driving his scoot Mobil?[1] Soon you discover that the program in JODI’s VR roller coaster is quit unreliable: motorcycles become backpacks, tires become people, people become cars.

  • [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.
stills from “404 Schrott aller Art”, JODI 2019

Image recognition has come a long way, and is the topic of a lot of
controversy and debate in consumer spaces. Facebook began to use image
recognition aggressively, as has Google in its own digital spaces.

 JODI’s taxirides rose
questions on how computerizable our visual, intellectual capability is? How
solid our physical perception of the environment around us is in a world
dominated by VR entertainment and how image recognition will affect privacy and
security around the world.

About JODI


The art duo JODI originated in 1995 it created its first website, Together with a small group of international artists, JODI developed the concept of Net.Art and placed itin the context of contemporary art. The Net.Art movement expressed critical awareness of the impact made by the digital information society before this awareness became widespread.

Digital media and networks are characterised by their double layering, a visible surface and underlying codes that determine or manipulate how the public reception and interaction should proceed (“social design” or “digital dictatorship”?). These underlying codes and programming options come to the surface in JODI’s work. Instead of structural contradictions, their focus is precisely on this medium-specific dysfunctionality. JODI responds to the flow of technological innovations as a parasite, experimenting with the characteristics of new digital means and the physical peculiarities of the immaterial medium. Online public interaction first motivated JODI to approach this medium. JODI were among the first artists to investigate and subvert conventions of the Internet, computer programs, and video and computer games. Radically disrupting the very language of these systems, including visual aesthetics, interface elements, commands, errors and code. JODI stages extreme digital interventions that destabilize the relationship between computer technology and its users by subverting our expectations about the functionalities and conventions of the systems that we depend upon every day. Their work uses the widest possible variety of media and techniques, from installations, software and websites to performances and exhibitions.

JODI’s work is featured in most art historical volumes
about electronic and media art, is exhibited worldwide in; Documenta-X, Kassel;
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; ZKM, Karlsruhe; ICC, Tokyo; CCA, Glasgow;
Guggenheim Museum, NewYork; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Eyebeam, NewYork; FACT,
Liverpool; MOMI, NewYork, among others.

JODI testriding taxi-k, Cologne 2019