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POST HACK or How To Send A Letter For Free:

A letter is a message written with a pen on a piece of paper (dead tree) which gets delivered in its physical original form[!!] to the recipients physical home address (house in a city i.e.). Wow, pretty cool concept, no?

  1. Materials: Paper (blank paper is ususally almost impossible to find but if you’re lucky there might be some sheets left in a printer near by), Pen (just ask your friend or cubical neighbor for a pen to borrow. I recommend to keep it after writing the letter, you might need it again later…)
  2. Write a letter (ask your friend for a FB like or something…) and fold the paper to an envelope (see video)
  3. Adress!: Now the important part! On the envelope swapp the names of sender and recipient!  put the real recipient in the field of the sender and make up a non existing address for the official recipient field.
  4. NO STAMP!!  Send it off and wait for the letter  to ‘return’ to the ‘sender’.

How does it work? The postal service will try to deliver the letter to the recipients home. Due to wrong address it will  fail and the letter will ‘go back’ to ‘the sender’ which is the real recipient. In my first try below I just swapped sender and receiver which led to a visit at the post office in Berlin where I had to reject my own letter to make it ‘go back’ to ‘the sender’ in Berlin.

On Tuesday October 20th after class I posted the letter at a letter box (funny metal container in public, different colors depending on the country you re in) in Kassel

Since I put my real address as recipient the Deutsche Post did send me a note (another piece of paper!)  to my Berlin address to let me know they have a letter for me. They also announced it’s gonna cost extra money because the sender was so stupid to put no stamp.

So I went to the Post office on Torstrasse in Berlin and told the clerk that I don t know the sender and that I m not gonna pay 62 cents + 51 cents fine for this strange piece of paper. No problem she said and filed it away…

Finally!! Yesterday on Sunday (prolly on Saturday, five days later) the letter arrived at Constants place in Berlin. Thanks for the tweet! :)  Love it! What a beautiful envelope with all these extra notes and stamps on it.




123456 (projection)
Clear text passwords leaked from Yahoo in 2012 projected in public space at the national library Montreal, October 2015.
Aram Bartholl 2015

Exhibition : ‘Common Place?‘ at Quatier de Spectacle, Montreal. October 2015
Part of ‘Human Futures‘ international project.

Pictures and video, Nelly-Eve Rajotte, THX!!
Programming Sebastian Schmieg, THX!

August 2015
“How to Make Design”
Fab11 Symposium
Boston, MA

July 2015
Presentation of the Brick Shortie
MIT Media Lab Design Summit
Boston, MA

April 2015
Bloomberg Businessweek Design 2015
San Francisco, CA

February 2015
Keynote at International Design Association IxDA
San Francisco, CA

November 2014
“Democratizing the Internet of Things”
Web Summit, Machine Stage
Dublin, Ireland

November 2014
A Call For a Coup d’État
PopTech 2015
Camden, Maine

September 2014
“The Internet As Material”
Boston, MA

September 2014
Democratizing the Internet of Things
World Maker Faire
New York, NY

September 2014
“Hardware: From Hobby to Revolution” with Mike Senese
New York, NY

September 2014
“Democratizing Hardware”
Keynote at Women ETC
Richmond, VA

May 2014
“The Internet As Material”
Keynote at O’Reilly SOLID
San Francisco, CA

May 2014
littleBits introduces the Arduino module – Ayah Bdeir
Bay Area Maker Faire
San Mateo, CA

February 2014
Making in New York
Keynote at CE Week
New York, NY





Aram Bartholl 2015
permanent outdoor installation
material:  rock, steel, router, usb-key, thermoelectric generator, fire, software, PDF database
size: 100 x 110 x 90 cm

at Landart Kunstverein Springhornhof Neuenkirchen, Niedersachsen, Germany
commissioned by Center for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University Lüneburg
curated by Andreas Broeckmann, Leuphana Arts Program

inauguration: Sunday, August 30, 2015, 11:00 am at Springhornhof

The boulder from the region Neuenkirchen, Niedersachsen contains a thermoelectric generator which converts heat directly  into electricity. Visitors are invited to make a fire next to the boulder to power up the wifi router in the stone which then reveals a large collection of PDF survival guides.  The inspired router which is NOT connected to the Internet offers the users to download the guides and upload any content they like to the stone database .  As long as the fire produces enough heat the router will stay switched on. The title Keepalive refers to a technical network condition where two network endpoints send each other ‘empty’ keepalive messages to maintain the connection.   To visit the piece please arrange an appointment with

The project “Keepalive” by Aram Bartholl was realised in the context of the research project “Art and Civic Media”, as part of the Innovation Incubator Lüneburg, a large EU project funded by the European Fund for Regional Development and the Germna State of Lower Saxony.



Official Invitation (german)




You are warmly invited to the Keepalive opening on Sunday, 30th of August 2015

11.00 a.m. Meeting point at Kunstverein Springhornhof
Leave for Hartböhn by car (approx. 10 min) or by bicycle (approx. 20 min, rental bikes are available)

11.30 a.m.
Greeting: Prof. Dr. Martin Warnke (Chair of Art Association)
In discussion: Andreas Broeckmann (Leuphana Arts Program) & Aram Bartholl

Food, drinks and data sharing at the campfire


“Keepalive” by Aram Bartholl (*1972 in Bremen) looks just like a normal rock from the outside. There is no sign that the stone, which lies inconspicuously in Lüneburger Heide on the edge of idyllic Hartböhn, contains hundreds of digital books. An internal thermoelectric generator and WiFi router must be activated by a lighting a fire under the rock before an electronic survival guide library can be accessed. Data and text can also be added by smartphone or laptop.

Media artist Aram Bartholl works with paths of knowledge and information communication that work against the developments of the digital age and question our handling of data. In this and other projects, he undermines power structures and control mechanisms in the use of internet services and data transmission, mostly through the introduction of a random, uncontrollable element.

In “Keepalive” the stone itself becomes the data medium. In a very archaic, but at the same time clandestine manner, information can be exchanged only locally — in contrast to networked servers, services and clouds worldwide, this rock is not connected to the internet. You have to get close to nature in the countryside, find the stone and make a fire to activate the data source. Anyone can do it once they have found out the exact location of the stone from either the nearby Kunstverein Springhornhof or another source.

Following the advice in the survival guides prepares you — this is the promise at least — for solo survival in the chaotic world of computer programming as much as for solo survival in the wilderness. “Keepalive” examines what “survival” really means and sounds out our true needs. The work resists the centralising forces of the Internet, raises questions about the democracy of knowledge management and ignites an autonomy backlash.” (Jennifer Bork)


The “Keepalive” project by Aram Bartholl was created in conjunction with the research project “Art and Civic Media” as part of Innovations-Inkubators Lüneburg, a major EU project supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the State of Lower Saxony.








ALUHUT WORKSHOP  (tin foil hat workshop)

at Chaos Communication Camp 2015

Make your own aluminum hat (much better than tin foil!!) to protect yourself  from any waves and all surveillance!! It is very very safe! :)) Just drop by!

DAY 2, Friday 14.8.2015, 14:00 – 18:00 h

C-base village, next to BER.


Calle 22 Project

Bogota 2015, more info at

Participating artists:
Felipe Arturo
Aram Bartholl
Leyla Cárdenas
Julius Von Bismarck

Curated by:
Oscar M. Ardila Art Historian
Roberto Uribe Architect
Dr. Kathrin Wildner




Born in Germany in 1972, Bartholl focuses on interrelations between the digital world and our physical surroundings. He obtained his degree in architecture from the University of arts in Berlin, where he lives and works. His artistic work has been shown in numerous festivals and exhibitions in museums and galleries. In 2011, five Dead Drops were part of the “Talk to me” exhibition at the MoMA in New York and a new facet of the project saw the day in 2013 with the installation of a DVD Dead Drop at Museum of the Moving Image in New York as well. Palais de Tokyo is the first French institution to welcome Dead Drops.

Cited from “Somewhere between Cyber and Real: An interview with Aram Bartholl”, by Jillian Steinhauer, 2012,






more pictures on flickr

Links for all four Dead Drops:




Dead Drops au Palais de Tokyo, à Paris

Vernissage public le lundi 22 juin à 21h

Comment exposer au Palais de Tokyo ?

  1. Apporter vos oeuvres sur votre ordinateur portable lors du vernissage
  2. Téléchargez-les sur l’une des 5 dead drops placées au Palais de Tokyo
  3. Dites à tout le monde que vous exposez au Palais de Tokyo





DEAD DROPS at Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Public OPENING, Monday  9:00pm 2015 June 22nd

How to get your art in the Palais de Tokyo