Artists don’t think like we do. For instance, look at that hideously cracked wall over there. Whereas you and I see a hideously cracked wall, they see an installation possibility. That wall is a statement-in-waiting.
Take Aram Bartholl’s Dead Drops for example. The New York-based artist has installed a number of USB flash drives into brick work across the city that never sleeps, thus allowing users to share their files with anyone who wishes to be seen hooking up their laptop to what is ostensibly a crack in the wall.
Doubtless it’s all some grand comment upon the sheer ubiquity of information in these media saturated times. Us? We couldn’t possibly comment. However, we are interested in how this nascent, quite literal, wall street journal develops. Will it be a harbinger of vital information much like Wikileaks or just another digital sphere dominated by porn?
Bartholl, originally from Germany and no stranger to testing the complex relationship between the digital world and real world, explained his ingenious use of wall cracks thus: "Dead Drops is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space.
"I am ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessible to anybody in public space. You are invited to go to these places to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your favourite files and data."
And remember, when the US sneezes, the UK always catches a cold, so expect to see similar installations over here very soon. That wall you walk past every morning may not be as innocent as first thought.