Dead Drops: Flash Drives in City Walls for Random Offline File Sharing
Dead Drops fastens USB flash drives to walls, curbs, and buildings around New York and invites strangers to plug-in and share their favorite files.
Dead drop letter boxes refer to secret locations sometimes used by spies to exchange items or letters without requiring them to meet or use official postal services. As part of his ongoing residency with EYEBEAM in New York City, the artist Aram Bartholl has updated the concept for the modern age. His Dead Drops project involves placing USB flash drives around the city; fastening them to walls, curbs, and buildings; and inviting strangers to plug-in their laptops and share their favorite files or data.
The end result, as Bartholl explains, will be an "anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space." It will eventually include a documentary film about the process and files shared, as well as a map and a "how to make your own dead drop" manual. And, ultimately, it will serves as an object lesson in what happens when strangers share information in public.
All New York City locations are listed here.