Berlin-based artist Aram Bartholl has created a series of “Dead Drops” around New York City as part of his Eyebeam Residency. The Dead Drops project is a series of offline p2p file sharing sites located in public spaces around the city such as train stations, street corners, and storefronts. Each device is installed blank except for a text file which explains the project and how to use the drop site. Users can discover the devices then upload or download files and share them anonymously with strangers.
The project is a clever combination of street art, public intervention, social media, and technology-as-art. By taking file sharing offline and integrating it with public spaces, he re-introduces the physical and geographic elements of data sharing and information transmission. Sharing with Dead Drops necessitates users being in the same place at least for a moment, unlike file sharing on the internet which is remote and unaffected by distance.
In this video Bartholl explains how to install and use a Dead Drop site. Check it out below.
Daniel St. Germaine
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