What would you do, or think, if you saw a USB drive sticking out of a wall as you walked down the street? Some New Yorkers have already run into this conundrum as they’ve encountered Dead Drops, a project by Berlin-based artist Aram Barthall. Though they’ve remained relatively under the radar, the curious devices have been acting as an anonymous peer-to-peer file-sharing network in the city for several years now.

Dead Drops 'How to' – NYC from aram bartholl on Vimeo.

Barthall began installing his Dead Drops when he visited New York back in 2010. Each location consists of a USB drive sticking out of the wall of a building, where anyone can walk up and connect a USB-ready device to participate in the project. Barthall hoped the idea would catch on in other cities, and it has. You can learn how to install a Dead Drop in your own city here or check out the video above.

+ Dead Drops