Tuesday, April 12, 2011

dead drops.

it must have been about a decade ago when i was hanging out at one of my favorite bars in turku and got an idea: there were cigar boxes from all over the world decorating the shelves and i had been opening and peeking into them ever since i started frequenting the place. that night i decided to pick a small post-it from my calendar and scribbled a brief message on it saying
hello, like-minded being! please, leave me a note.
and dropped it inside one of the boxes.

i had started a dead drop without knowing the term. it comes from good old espionage jargon: a secret place to exchange information between agents without the need to meet in person.

for years i collected little messages from my box; i think there were a few dozen in total. several were from people who knew me and had seen me peeking into my precious wooden chest in the hopes of finding a new note, but many were from strangers who shared my curious nature.

most were brief, perhaps merely a "hello!", but some could be described as short letters. there was a tingling sensation each time i opened my little letterbox and every single addition felt like a revolution.

my note is still there as far as i know.

photo from deaddrops.com

a digital alternative to my little experiment is the project of aram bartholl. he has left empty usb-drives around the urban landscape for people to use for file-sharing.

his manifesto describes a publicly accessible, passively powered hub for any kind of information anyone might want to share with others and appears critical of information clouds with limited accessibility. although for someone more-marginally-than-nyc located his perception of virtual shareability as limited rather than sharing at a random physical location might seem rather distorted, i find plenty of appeal here.

popping and peeking from walls anywhere one could imagine, the excitement of finding a usable file somewhere unexpected seems like something i could get excited about.

and let's not start with the viruses, ok? i know i know, it's dangerous and stuff and everything and undoubtedly someone is going to vandalize these little ports, but let's pretend like we can trust each other for once, please.

to find out more and to install your own, go to the site.


e. said...

Minun sydäntäni liikuttavat neulegraffitit. Se tilkkupeitto, jolla tänään loimitettiin Varsapuistikon veistokset, oli ihana. Lisää tekstiilejä kaupunkiin!

stellagee said...

e., niin munkin! ne ovat ihania. missä tuosta on juttua – en löytänyt...

mikko said...

i love drops.

stellagee said...

mikko, drops are fantastic.