‘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 map here!

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

87 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (Makerbot)
Empire Fulton Ferry Park, Brooklyn, NY (Dumbo)
235 Bowery, NY (New Museum)
Union Square, NY (Subway Station 14th St)
540 West 21st Street, NY (Eyebeam)

Dead Drops picture set on flickr

Dead Drops picture set on flickr


  1. MacGiver
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to install them in rental cars, buses, trains, and airplane lavatories .

    I hope I don’t have to deal with jail, but I’ll try my best.

  2. MensaMan
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    this really is one of the most brilliant ideas i’ve ever seen.

    why go to all the trouble to go online to blogs, twitter, flickr, facebook, etc. to see what people want to share when you can just go out looking for one of these in a wall somewhere and find who knows what that some other people who happened to go to the same wall have decided to share.

    the web is dead, long live brick and mortar!

    • Posted January 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Proper LOL dude….. I can smell the sarcasm in the next room!

  3. Posted November 5, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Great idea. Reminds me of the old security guard clocks which put bits of technology all over a building and the guard interacted with them every few hours.

    I am looking forward to seeing my first deaddrop sticking out of a wall!

  4. vs1629
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    You are not an artist. You are a thief and are encouraging others to steal. Shame on you.

    • Jeff
      Posted November 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Amen! well said. If i see any of these Ill smash them or put some interesting code on there for the next sucker who wants to plug in.

    • Posted November 15, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Uh. How is this in any way larceny? This is discouraging stealing, by getting off of the P2P network that is the internet and all the torrenting. It inspires much more creativity, the underground promotion of your own work, be it pictures, or writing, or music. Saying that the use of dead drops is stealing is tantamount to saying that handing out Demo Tapes of your band or showing your friend a couple of pages of a story you wrote is stealing. I for one believe that humans are good by default, not bad.

      • infoshallbefree
        Posted November 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        awesome reply! and i want everyone to know this is also a way to fght the internet killswitch that is being voted on in a few months and already has the votes to pass!

    • Anon
      Posted November 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      You automatically think that theft is involved. Shame on you.

  5. James
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Haha, this is the worst idea ever. I’m sure it’s already been said, but this is like a glory hole for computers. Enjoy the herpes!

    • HansWurst
      Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink