‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. USB flash drives are embedded into walls, buildings and curbs accessible to anybody in public space. Everyone is invited to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your favorite files and data. Each dead drop is installed empty except a readme.txt file explaining the project. ‘Dead Drops’ is open to participation. If you want to install a dead drop in your city/neighborhood follow the ‘how to’ instructions and submit the location and pictures.

I  am a Berlin based media artist and started  the ‘Dead Drops’ project during my stay in NYC at EYEBEAM as artist in residence, October 2010. Dead Drops was part of the show “Talk to Me” at the MoMA  July-Nov 2011.

Aram Bartholl 2010

Dead Drops ‘How to’ video

The first 5 Dead Drops were installed by Aram Bartholl in NYC, Oct. 2010.

Prefer Youtube? Get the video here youtube.com/watch?v=hwohadcUv4A

Better browsing on full size window here!



  1. Posted November 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant idea. I’d strongly suggest however that you don’t reinvent the wheel by building a web site from scratch.

    I’d suggest either working with the OpenCaching community to add Dead Drops as a geocache type, or else take the OpenCaching source code (that’s why it’s ‘Open’) and create your own derivative. Either way you’ll have a high-function site up and running very quickly. I believe there are code bases in German and Polish, but of course there are now derivates in UK, USA, CZ, etc.

  2. Posted November 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    bit awkward to attach the laptop to the USB though isn’t it?
    Amazing idea btw. I love it (=

  3. Posted November 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I was browsing in the Scotsman today that Principle Dental practitioners are earning around £120k every year – that sure does seem like alot of cash nowadays. My emotions went out to the associates dentists (lower down the pecking order) who just collect around £70k typically…all together now, ahhhhh

  4. Posted November 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Interesting idea but there are several things one has to consider and they have been brought up already.

    Porn/Illegal Content: Whoever finds it should just delete it. End of story.

    Malicious code: Yes, I run Win7 and MSE Antivirus but do I want to plug my expensive laptop into a random jump drive? I don’t think I would do that.

    Longevity: The jump drives will rust or become broken fairly easily and will become unusable within a short time frame. They will need to be replaced often unless they are located indoors.

    That being said, I will add the code to the Opencaching US site today for those who wish to hide and seek these. A disclaimer will certainly be shown as well. :)

    OCUS Admin

  5. Nicklas Odh
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Two things on the new “Stora Lee” drop.
    The special characters didnt work well. Just write Cafe.
    The drop is 512 MB, not KB.

    Thanks :)