Open Power

Walking piece details

Cost Free

A map of Cologne fixed with 100 locations of available, functional electrical sockets I found all over the city. I incorporated the map in an information board which was installed at the location where the very first socket was found. That happens to be in a very central and highly frequented place. The map is also available online on a website specially created for the project, where each socket is numbered, highlighted through photos and gps-coordinates.

Over the course of a year (2015-16), I searched for free, functional sockets in and around the city of Cologne. I photographed each find using GPS, making it possible to enter their exact locations onto the Google-Map. The final result was a listing of 100 230V-sockets available all over the city. Each photo was shot in the night, using a floodlight. The light was powered of course, by the very socket being photographed. Thus, each photo depicts a closed circuit comprised of a socket, illuminated by a floodlight, which is powered by the socket.

On May 5th, 2016, the OPEN POWER info board was illegally installed at the Opera ferry dock along Kennedy-Ufer (riverside) in Cologne. The board depicts the Google-map along with all 100 images of the sockets and their exact locations. This site is where the first socket, Socket #1, was discovered. The OPEN POWER info board had to be installed on top of an existing Opera ferry board, the latter of which was flipped to face the Rhine, away from public view. The OPEN POWER board was designed to suit the existing ferry board: the same size, same material, same holes for the screws to hold it in place. On May 6th, the boards were flipped over as a performance in reverse. The OPEN POWER board now faces the Rhine, it hangs on the backside of the frame where Socket #1 is housed. The Opera’s ferry board has been turned to face its original direction.

The project generated a lot of discussion over social media, and interest in the local press and television. The owners of the Opera ferry service were not supporters of this illegal action and reacted very quickly to the alterations, yet no move has been made to have the OPEN POWER board removed from the back of theirs.


Andrey Ustinov

Andrey Ustinov

Andrey Ustinov

Andrey Ustinov (*1975, Luga, former USSR) is a performance and media artist based in Berlin who explores themes of #technologies, #perception, #property, #resources, #power and mostly works in public space. The main focus of his work is the cognitive activ...

Near Kennedy-Ufer 11, Köln, Deutschland

  • Talking Walking

    Fiona Hesse talking walking

    · 7 Apr, 2022
  • Spaziergangswissenschaft

    OUI – Open Urban Institute

    · 4 Jul, 2017
  • Curated news

    Speed Walking with the Sculptor Charles Ray | The New Yorker

    · 25 Nov, 2019
  • Hybrid Flaneur

    On a Glocal City

    · 2 Oct, 2015

    Transformative Science Walk in Osnabrück

    · 30 Sep, 2019

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.