Cologne, What is Your Mothers Maiden Name? – Max Dovey

Taxi rides, workshop & a lecture-performance

Max Dovey in collaboration with Bessie Normand, Argia Helen Wehner, Johannes Hoffmann and Emma Bieck (Youth Academy/ Cologne

  • Opening Saturday 8th of June 19:00 at King Georg Kiosk, Sudermanplatz , Cologne
  • 15th June 13:00-17:00
  • 22nd June 13:00-17:00
  • 29th June 13:00-17:00
  • Lecture-performance Thursday 6th of June 19:00 at Academyspace, Herwarthstrasse, Cologne

Psychometrics and Psycho-geography Max Dovey  explores political narratives that emerge from technology and digital culture and manifest them into live-performing. For NKTaxi he develops a participatory project that explores memory, digital privacy and locality. Dovey’s work and research is in emerging methods of data science that combine language and psychoanalysis to produce psychological profiles based on an individual’s online data. This type of psychological profiling aggregates and analyzes online communication from social media communications, emails and blogs to produce character based data profiles based on the analysis of individual data.

The motivation for using psychometrics is to be able to influence individuals with more targeted advertising for products or political campaigns. Cambridge Analytica, the now defunct private company that offered campaign support to both Donald Trump in the US and the Leave in the UK, sold their psychometric science to produce targeted audience demographics and more persuasive campaigns. The company used the popular OCEAN model to aggregate individual’s data into targeted demographics such as ‘On-The-Fence Liberals’, ‘Green Traditionalists’ and ‘Left Out Democrats’

Illustration of a personality matrix mapped onto the city of Cologne. This circle is a radar chart that reflects different scores of Max Dovey’s personality. It  is created by asking a series of questions about each personality attribute and mapping the score onto a radar graph.

Working with the Youth Academy Cologne

For this project and within the frame of the project Memory Stations, Max Dovey works with members of the Youth Academy. During a workshop methods of outreach and engagement, site specific work, digital locality and memory are being explored. The participants are encouraged to develop site specific media. They look at ways to extract psychological data to navigate Cologne as part of an immersive taxi ride. Different parts of the city will reflect different emotional categories and personality types. Through aural interviews, surveys, observation and other methods of data collection a psychological map of Cologne is being developed. The participants use the same methods to psychologically profile individuals online to map out the psychogeography of the city.

With: Bessie Normand, Argia Helen Wehner, Johannes Hoffmann and Emma Bieck

LECTURE-PERFORMANCE 06-06-2019 19:00

Dovey performs the data science behind psychometric profiling and reveals how online data is analysed to produce different personality archetypes which are then used to influence human behaviour. Learn more about your data personality! Learn more about how to manipulate language and psycho-analysis in the digital age!

Workshop Dates
  • WED 8 +THU 9 May/ 16:00 – 22:00
  • THU 30 + FRI 31 May/ 12:00 – 18:00

In his current work Dovey has been organizing workshops that explore the connection between psychometrics and language. In the workshops participants are introduced to psychometrics profiling before experimenting with ways to manipulate or subvert psychological profiles with language, or what Dovey calls adversarial writing. For NKTaxi these tools can be used to produce psychological portraits of the individuals who contribute to the Memory Stations project.

City Records- Max Dovey 2019
About Max Dovey, 1987, lives and works in London/UK

Dovey received a Media Design & Communication Master at the Piet Zwart Academy, Rotterdam. He creates scenario based experiences, using technology that involve audience participation. Dovey critically reflects on emerging technology and explore the politics of a networked society. For example, ‘A Hipster Bar’ (2015), a pop-up bar that uses image recognition to only admit people that are recognised as a hipster according to a custom made algorithm or ‘Respiratory Mining’ (2017) turned the act of breathing into crypto-currency. Dovey worked amongst others with V2_ and The Patching Zone in Rotterdam, showed at Ars Electronica and at The Lowry in Manchester; ‘Humans Being Digital’. He teached at the Dutch Sandberg Institute and St. Joost Academy Breda and is affiliated researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures, at Agorama London and he writes for Open Democracy, Imperica & Furtherfield.