A new permanent work by Berlin-based artist Aram Bartholl at the Thomas Leeser-designed Museum of The Moving Image in Queens, New York bridges the gap between digital and physical space, challenging the intangibility of today’s world of cloud computing and instant downloads by adding a sense of materiality to data-transfer. Engaging a medium that is quickly becoming as outdated as the Laser Disc, DVD Dead Drop, a slot-loading DVD burner embedded in the exterior wall of the museum is ready to burn you a hand-picked digital art exhibition, media collection, or another piece computerized content curated by Bartholl. Just insert a blank DVD-R, and let the art begin.
DVD Dead Drop is a continuation of Bartholl’s original Dead Drops series, which brought peer-to-peer, offline file-sharing to public spaces around the world through unauthorized USB drives cemented into walls, poles, curbs and houses. While Dead Drops was a read-and-write system, allowing users to upload and download content to the drives, DVD Dead Drop is a one-way street, curated, automated, and prone to technical problems. (The museum notes that if your DVD does not burn properly, don’t worry, a fragile piece of machinery like a DVD burner is bound to run into some problems when it is kept outdoors 24-7.)
Through May 7, the installation offers “Vertical Video,” a one-hour collection of amateur videos taken with a vertical aspect ratio. Check here to see what may end up on your DVD, and here to find out where you can find a Dead Drop near you.