nyc

by Matthew Zuras on November 1, 2010 at 11:15 AM

As part of his residency at Eyebeam, Aram Bartholl sealed five USB flash drives into the walls of several New York City buildings, such as the New Museum, Eyebeam and the Union Square subway station, allowing anyone with a laptop to plug in and share whatever they want. "'Dead Drops' is an anonymous, offline, peer-to-peer file-sharing network in public space," writes Bartholl on his site.

We can't imagine that they'll last too long, though, before getting filled up with illicit porn, indie band demo albums and terrible poetry. Check out the full list of the drives' locations at Bartholl's site.

 

By Sean Hollister posted Oct 30th 2010 9:19PM
Back when the walls had ears, spies would store their information in a hidden cache and pass along the location via code. Now, a New York City artist is doing the same with USB flash drives, five of which he's already injected into the city's brick walls. While there some obvious logistical reasons we'd avoid using his creation (not to mention worries about AutoRun in older PCs) we'll definitely keep the idea in mind for Engadget informants who are particularly paranoid about their anonymity. See the first five drives' not-so-secret locations in photos at our source links.

 

By Jeroen Beekmans | Published: Saturday October 30, 2010

Aram Bartholl, also known as the man behind Speed Show, has launched a new project in New York City which is part of his Eyebeam residency. Under the name of ‘Dead Drops’, he created an anomymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space by ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into publicly accessible walls, buildings and curbs.

 

City - by Kenneth Hsu on Monday, November 1, 2010 14:15 - 1 Comment - 178 views

In a year that has given us Facebook Friendship Pages, there’s no end to creatively (and creepily) sharing your personal information through your computer anymore. And with his new project “Dead Drops,” German digital artist Aram Bartholl is making sure no New Yorker can escape the urge to participate. No wi-fi necessary.

... In the meantime, this isn’t only digital art in the city recently — “Dead Drops” is part of a larger “X-Lab” campaign by Eyebeam, the popular non-profit art and technology center in Chelsea, intended to involve the public in creative ways. You can follow other “X-Lab” projects on the Eyebeam tumblr here.

 

Sometimes it feels like sharing a flash drive around an office is dangerous enough. The question is, do you feel lucky enough to trust one stuck in a public wall?

Article by Scott Stein

 

What would you do if you saw a USB head sticking out of a wall? Dead Drops is a new offline peer-to-peer file sharing project by Aram Bartholl. Anonymous users can find the USB flashdrives in public spaces (5 so far in NYC) and download and share files. Take that Limewire!

 

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.

 

[Aram Bartholl] is building his own filesharing network that screws those fat cats who want to control your freedom. He’s added file cache devices throughout NYC (five so far but more to come) that are anonymous and free to use. Upload what you want, download what you want. They’re completely offline which means monitoring who’s doing what gets a lot harder and quite possibly requires a warrant from a Judge (we’re obviously not legal experts, your mileage may vary).

As for the slew of comments that are sure to point out the dangers of malicious USB device; We think everyone knows they’re taking on some risk when connecting to a USB plug protruding from a brick wall.

 

Have you ever had the urge to randomly dump a massive amount of files in a public location so that any passerby could share in the fun? Yeah, I didn’t think so. But a new EYEBEAM project being conducted by NYC resident Aram Bartholl is pretty cool. He’s essentially running around downtown New York and installing flash drives, called “Dead Drops” into anything and everything — walls, curbs, posts, etc. The idea is that people are to share random files with one another, offline and on the go.

The concept is pretty cool to think about. Though I’m not too sure just strolling up to some random flash drive jutting out of the wall and then hooking it into my computer is the safest thing to do. Nevertheless, it’s a cool social/tech concept. Any NYC residents run into any of these “Dead Drops” yet?

Step inside for a few shots of what these Dead Drop stations look like…

 

The idea behind this morning’s post about USB flash drives struck me last night/this morning on a whim. Through absolutely no coordination whatsoever, I noticed the appearance of a photopool series on Flickr with every photo labeled “Dead Drops.” From the photos in the pool it appears someone1 is going around New York epoxying and cementing USB flash drives into public crevices. 2

A dead drop is, according to Wikipedia, “a location used to secretly pass items between two people, without requiring them to meet.”

Now, for the questions:

Who is doing this and why? Why those locations? What are on these drives? Where are they? Is someone mapping them? Are they read-only? 3 And, how long before someone sitting on a park bench or leaning up against a phone booth scrapes themselves on one of these?

 
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