Five years ago, Berlin-based media artist Aram Bartholl launched a project called ‘Dead Drops‘. I know, I’m a little late in taking notice, but the trouble is, Adam’s project is rather hard to spot and despite having gone global, is in fact, very well hidden– in plain sight…
‘Dead Drops’ is essentially an anonymous file-sharing network with the use of USB flash drives that have been embedded into walls, buildings and curbs in public a space. Everyone is invited to plug in their laptops and drop or find files on a dead drop USB or indeed install one into a crumbling brick wall in your own city or neighbourhood.
So five years on, do these things still exist? Conveniently, this past summer, Adam added a Dead Drop database allowing us to find Dead Drop locations and check on their status, updated by the last user as either working/ broken/ stolen/ gone.
From New York to Paris to Vietnam to Dakar, I went through the location database and this project seems very much alive and well. So if you happened to miss it the first time round (understandably), I invite you to find your nearest Dead Drop and pass by with your laptop to see what you find or perhaps share something of your own…
On the steps of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Marked by a red sticker above it in Cagliari, Italy.
Discover (or re-discover) the Dead Drop Project here and Adam updates new Dead Drops on his Twitter account.