I posted this a while ago on the Urban Guide for Alternate Use site, but the more I think about it, the more I love the concept, so thought I’d bring the idea over here. German artist and open source tech pioneer Aram Bartholl brings location-specific data to new levels with his Dead Drops project. Using a USB memory stick and the superfluous supply of pock-marked buildings in NYC, Aram set up an offline data sharing network in the city’s streets. As he explains on the Dead Drops website:
‘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.
While I try to get over my frustration that Aram didn’t tell me about this when I saw him recently in Berlin, here’s Aram giving a DIY lesson on how to transform buildings in your own city into Dead Drop data points: