Dead drop Toronto

Porn, recipes found on Toronto's dead drop

Whenever I think of two people secretly exchanging information, I envision money bags left behind loose bricks and secret documents hidden in a hollowed out book. As it turns out, this method of sharing information has a name - it's called a dead drop.

In October 2010, Berlin-based media artist Aram Bartholl decided to modernize the idea and created five USB dead drops in New York City.

The idea is simple: a USB flash drive is embedded into a wall, building, or other public space using cement. After that, anyone can access the drive and leave and take files as they please.

Dead drop Toronto

In early November,a dead drop appeared in Toronto. I was finally able to satisfy my curiosity about what was on the drop - and who placed it there - this week. According to the read me file on the USB, "Q_worker_006" installed Toronto's only dead drop on November 1, 2010. No other information about the creator is given.

However, there's a photo on the drive of the drop being installed - and the exif data on the photo revealed it was emailed from an iPhone 3G belonging to Matthew Bennett. Quite a few files have collected on the drop in the two months since its creation - at installment, drops usually only contain an information file about the project. It's up to the public to decide what to add, delete, and keep on the drop.

Dead drop Toronto

The drop currently contains twelve recipes, including some popular brand names - Cadbury Crème Eggs, Ms. Field's Cookies, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Other than recipes, there's not very many text files - though there is a rather interesting list of fictional drug use in movies (with hyperlinks!) and a guide on how to make a homemade stun glove using a disposable camera.

Dead drop Toronto

Of course, there are also a number of pictures loaded on the USB - 45 to be exact. For some reason, I was not surprised to find roughly 40% of the pictures are either half-naked women or porn. The other photos on the drop include random pictures of people (some taken at the drop site), cartoons, comics, and assorted photography.

For those interested in creating their own drop somewhere in the city, Bartholl provides a how-to guide on his website.


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