'To the question "where are you?" a pilot will answer "at longitude x , latitude y , altitude z ".
But if I ask where are you?'

xyz uses the bicycle as a tool to ask broader questions about the evolution of society, and culture.
xyz bicycles pulls together ideas from Ivan Illich and the work of the Dutch art movement called the Provo.

Through his many books, downloadable on the internet, Ivan Illich articulated his vision for a low energy modernity in which we were the masters of the machines we use, not the reverse. Illich propounded the view that the technologies we develop invariably go through a 'second threshold' at which point they order our lives and our social systems, not the other way round. Illich championed the use of the bicycle as an example of what he termed 'convivial technology'.
Man on a bicycle can go three or four times faster than the pedestrian, but uses five times less energy in the process. He carries one gram of his weight over a kilometer of flat road at an expense of only 0.15 calories. The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well.'
Ivan Illich: Toward a History of Needs

In the 1960's the Provo proposed a '
White Bicycle Plan' which called for the closing of all motorised traffic in the city centre and that the Amsterdam municipality purchase 20,000 bicycles to be owned "by everyone and no one". The Provo group donated the first 50 bikes to the cause.
Besides the white bicycle plan, the Provo had schemes for a a white chimney plan (for unnecessary emision of spent domestic fuel), a white woman plan( for birth control) and white chicken plan (for the Amsterdam policemen).
At the elections for the municipal council of
Amsterdam in April 1967, over 13,000 votes were cast for the Provo movement and one seat at the city council was won. However on 13 May 1967 (twenty months and one day after the appearance of the first issue of Provo ) a Provo happening proclaimed 'the death of Provo'.



August 2004