DOMENICO QUARANTA: Oh, When the Internet Breaks at Some Point
“Walked out this morning / Don’t believe what I saw / A hundred billion bottles / Washed up on the shore / Seems I’m not alone at being alone / A hundred billion castaways / Looking for a home” The Police, “Message in a Bottle”, 1979
Back in October 2010, German artist Aram Bartholl cemented 5 USB flash drives in various locations in New York, as part of an Eyebeam residency.  Referring to the way, in espionage, items are passed between two individuals using a secret location and without an actual meeting, he called the project Dead Drops. The first five dead drops were empty, except for a small readme file explaining the project. A dedicated website was set up, featuring a video tutorial and a simple “how to” and inviting people to participate in the project.
In interviews, Bartholl explained that at the beginning he was just fascinated by the power of an image: a small data container plugged in the wall, in public space, and a person trying to access it with her own device. He invited people to participate by dropping files in and taking files out, installing their own dead drop and sending the GPS coordinates to Bartholl. As in many collaborative projects, he wasn’t particularly confident about people’s participation, and he believed that the project was conceptually strong enough even in the shape of a small, five-nodes network. But people liked the idea, and as I’m typing on my keyboard today, the online database features almost 1500 registered dead drops for a total storage space of 9891 gigabytes. I installed my own a while ago and I’ve noticed some others along the years, and I’ve always been fascinated by the precariousness of these tiny, rusty artifacts. I’ve never seen anybody plugging in, and probably most of them are almost empty, or out of work. But they are, still, extremely powerful as an image.
Message in a Bottle
“A Dead Drop is a naked piece of passively powered Universal Serial Bus technology embedded into the city, the only true public space. In an era of growing clouds and fancy new devices without access to local files we need to rethink the freedom and distribution of data. The Dead Drops movement is on its way for change! Free your data to the public domain in cement! Make your own Dead Drop now! Un-cloud your files today!!!” Aram Bartholl, “The Dead Drops Manifesto”, 2010 
The dead drops network emerged in an age that saw a major shift in the general perception of the internet as a public space. Widespread Wi-Fi access, the massive adoption of social networking sites, and the advent of smartphones made people start to think about the internet as a new public space, with no physical boundaries and infrastructure, where data can be shared and taken easily and seamlessly. The metaphor of the cloud, already used in the Nineties to describe the internet, became more and more popular in the late 2000s, when cloud computing emerged – further reinforcing the idea of an immaterial public space and eroding the difference between public and private, local and shared. As Annet Dekker wrote in 2008:
“Going to the beach”
Venice, Los Angeles 2016
Live stream intervention involving a green screen, periscope.tv & Venice. Thanks to the team!! Credits to: Nadja Buttendorf, Theo Triantafyllidis, Lee Tusman, Ashley B. & periscope.tv
Build And Run
dimension: 1024 x 768px, medium: computer game, PC & web
The workshop night at Machine Project in L.A. with Crypto Nails by Nadja Buttendorf and KILLYOURPHONE.COM was very much fun! Thx to Machine Project for hosting this event!! & thx to the people for stat-us.org for inviting us!! Also thanks to Simon Steiner from Otis for this super cool handmade screen print poster!!
Saturday, April 30, 8:00pm–10:00pm
1200 N Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA
How to share a 12,-$ UCLA parking ticket:
- Get your 12,- $ all day visitor parking ticket .
- Leave it in the car as long as you park at UCLA.
- When you leave pass it on!
KILLYOURPHONE at Machine project LA
http://machineproject.com/2016/events/kill-your-phone-crypto-nails/Saturday, April 30, 8:00pm–10:00pm
1200 N Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA
“Join us in the Machine Project storefront on Saturday, April 30th at 8pm for an evening of counter-surveillance fun organized by the Cryptoparty team, featuring special guests Aram Bartholl and Nadja Buttendorf.
Your phone is the window to your soul. Keeper of credit cards, holder of location data, archive of incriminating voice memos. Kill Your Phone! In this open source workshop, Aram Bartholl and the LA Cryptoparty crew will teach you to make a special signal-blocking phone pouch, to keep your ever-vulnerable Glowing Brick of Light safe from the vast array of threats facing the modern citizen, including but not limited to: CIA operatives, Russian teenagers, NSA contractors, and Glop-dwelling cyber-urchins. Feel free to bring clothes of your own to modify for wearable wave-blocking.
But that’s not all! After your phone is shielded safe and sound, it’s time to weaponize your fingers with Nadja’s Magnetic Nail Art Studio. Equip your nails with custom EXPLANTS, as we magnetize our fingertips for crypto-defense. Blank credit cards with the swipe of a finger, conveniently hold metal objects, feel the magnetic waves, change your report cards!
This event is open to all. $5 suggested donation to cover material costs. Bring a sewing machine if you have one!”
Result of a Twitter conversation. ‘Never worry again”, Photoshop, Aram Bartholl, 2016
your kids will love these take-my-money-now buttons… pic.twitter.com/baLgDi4iHO
— Ar@m B@rtholl (@arambartholl) April 15, 2016
Offline/Online Convergences: Aram Bartholl and Kathy Rae Huffman
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 | 7 pm
LACMA, Art + Technology Lab, Art of the Americas Building
A DIY car seat wedge cushion made from a 8$ yoga mat! Los Angeles style #SPEEDPROJECT of the day!
Teaching at Design Media Art UCLA has been really fun so far!! Documentation of the undergrad Form class can be found here classes.dma.ucla.edu/Winter16/22 and more pictures here flickr.com/photos/bartholl/sets/72157666722216946
Cool student projects for this Spring quarter are already on the way!
國立臺灣美術館│National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Exhibition Dates： 2016-03-19 ~ 2016-05-22
The development of new technologies and the resulting electronic products, continuously inspire the human imagination for life in the future. The application and consumption of electronic technology has gradually and unconsciously mired us in the logic of commerce and the cycle of innovation and outdatedness. Technological products become obsolete and are replaced at an increasing rate, creating a severe problem of electronic waste. “Waste” is a relative concept that leads us to contemplate how values are formed and abandoned. The process by which value is transformed and rediscovered is what the exhibition seeks to explore.
With the re-creation of electronic waste in daily life as a starting point, the artists participating in this exhibition are like contemporary alchemists who distill renewed value and significance from discarded objects. In biological terms “regenerate” refers to a process of reconstruction, recovery, and growth; this exhibition tries to extend this definition to its aesthetic connotations. How do new media artists who use technology as a creative medium respond to, query, and inspect the ethical issues of contemporary technology through their work? A state of global crisis has been created by the rapid pace of resource consumption, continued production, and discarding. When all aspects of contemporary life has in effect been constructed by that intimate union of technology and capital, human beings find themselves dependent upon nature as they simultaneously attempt to alter it. What future of peaceful coexistence between nature and technology can artists envision? The “Regeneration Movement” goes beyond the reutilization and repair of reclaimed objects, and hints at possibilities for correction, adjustment, and re-innovation in the multiple relationships and contexts between humans and the material environment, nature, and technology.
With the “Regeneration Movement” as a purport, this exhibition presents the creative rendering and contemplations of 16 different groups of artists along two main trajectories: “Transformation and Recycling: the Power of Circulation,” and “Hybridity and Symbiosis : Ecological Imagination from an Interdisciplinary Perspective “Transformation and Recycling” attempts to loosen the preset functional contexts of electronic logic that recreate new technological rules to reverse passive consumption and production settings, and to liberate the intended functions of objects; while simultaneously re-excavating preexisting histories and memories of media. “Hybridity and Symbiosis” brings out possibilities for reversed resource discovery and energy conversion with the fusion of interdisciplinary methodology of art, design, the sciences and imaginative experimental projects; and even portending a direction for future evolution and proffer possibilities for a sustainable coexistence with the environment.“Regeneration Movement” revisits the balanced and circular relationship among technology, human beings and the nature, in an effort to find possible indications for a sustainable co-existence future in the dynamic and intertwined network of our living systems through artistic perspective.
Benjamin Gaulon, Gijs Giskes, Karl Klomp, Tom Verbruggen
SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design)
Unknown Fields Division
Exposition : FROM BITS TO PAPER* du pixel au papier, sortez des écrans !
Le Shadok, Fabrique du Numérique
8.3. – 5.6.2016
Artistes exposés : James Bridle, Darko Fritz, Peter Jellitsch, Vincent Broquaire, Aram Bartholl, Clément Valla, Christopher Baker, Albertine Meunier, Daan Van Den Berg, Felix Heyes et Benjamin West.
Commissaire d’exposition : Filipe Pais
Partenariat : XPO ART Studio
Quantified Life and the Social Question
March 11–May 9, 2016
Opening: March 10, 7pm
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Contributions and works by Vito Acconci, Timo Arnall, Mari Bastashevski, Grégoire Chamayou, Emma Charles, Mike Crane, Arthur Eisenson, Harun Farocki, Charles Gaines, Melanie Gilligan, Goldin+Senneby, Avery F. Gordon, Laurent Grasso, Orit Halpern, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Ben Hayes, Douglas Huebler, Tung-Hui Hu, On Kawara, Korpys/Löffler, Lawrence Liang, Noortje Marres, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Henrik Olesen, Matteo Pasquinelli, Julien Prévieux, Jon Rafman, Miljohn Ruperto, RYBN.ORG, Dierk Schmidt, Nishant Shah, Eyal Sivan & Audrey Maurion, Deborah Stratman, Alex Verhaest, Gwenola Wagon & Stéphane Degoutin, Stephen Willats, Mushon Zer-Aviv, and others. And in The White Room: Jacob Appelbaum & Ai Weiwei, Aram Bartholl, Tega Brain & Surya Mattu, James Bridle, Julian Oliver & Danja Vasiliev, Veridiana Zurita, and contributions by Open Data City, Peng! Collective, Privacy International, Share Lab, Malte Spitz, and others.
An exhibition by Haus der Kulturen der Welt in collaboration with the Tactical Technology Collective, co-curated by Stephanie Hankey, Marek Tuszynski, and Anselm Franke.
Nervous Systems takes place as part of 100 Years of Now. Supported by Open Society Foundations and Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council.
‘Keep Away From Children’ by Nadja Buttendorf & Aram Bartholl, 2016