‘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. Euph0ria
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Not a very well thought out idea. USB flash drives are far too fragile. Basically vandalism (chipping away at walls?), and a waste of a flash drive. The video shows the absolutely absurd usage of putting a notebook directly into the usb flash drive… All it would take is for one person to release the weight of that notebook, or move it incorrectly, and the usb drive plug is bent or snapped off permanently and forever useless. I’d think that he would at LEAST advise using a usb extension cable…
    I’m looking forward to seeing these connected to an 120 Volt power grid, to fry any moron who is stupid enough to plug this into their notebooks…

  2. Jetogi
    Posted February 17, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Combine this with geocaching please??

    • Tix
      Posted March 13, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

      It is combinated!
      Klick on one spot at the map and then klick on the link that appears. You´ll find the coordinates!

  3. Riccardo
    Posted February 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Conceptually it’s an interesting idea.

    But! What if someone walks into one of these lumps of sharp metal protruding from a wall? I hope you can sleep knowing you’ve left a potential H&S [Health and Safety] nightmare in a public place.

  4. Aram
    Posted February 18, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Hey all !!! I am closing the comments. Thx for all your thoughts, ideas and concerns (yes, there even could be viruses on there! OMG this is soo dangerous! Luckyly the Internet is a save place ;-)

    Please keep discussing, brainstorming and add your ideas in the Forum


    • Tix
      Posted March 13, 2012 at 2:28 am | Permalink

      Luckyly is it a SAVE place!!!

  5. mtnzrs
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink


    Harekete devam!