Photo by Matt Spevack

DVD Dead Drop

August 16–November 26, 2013

Organized by Jason Eppink, Associate Curator of Digital Media

For this new commissioned work, artist Aram Bartholl (Berlin, b. 1972) has embedded an inconspicuous, slot-loading DVD burner into the side of the Museum, available to the public 24 hours a day. Visitors who find the Dead Drop and insert a blank DVD-R will receive a digital art exhibition, a collection of media, or other featured content curated by Bartholl or selected artists. DVD Dead Drop imbues the act of data transfer with a tangibility left behind in a world of cloud computing and appstores, using a medium—the digital versatile disc—that is quickly becoming another artifact of the past.

DVD Dead Drop is a continuation of Bartholl’s series of offline file-sharing networks in public spaces. The original Dead Drops cemented unauthorized USB thumb drives into walls, buildings, and curbs, encouraging a “read-write” information ecosystem. Here the “read-only” DVD Dead Drop serves as an automated platform for dispensing digital culture to the public at any time, day or night.

Because the installation consists of fragile hardware with moving parts exposed to the elements, regular technology failure is inevitable. The Museum works to keep the hardware operational, but it makes no guarantee for a successful DVD burn.

Made possible by the Harpo Foundation, with support from the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, New York. 
HOT (August 16–September 21, 2012) »
A group show about video that is not video
Curated by Aram Bartholl

Participating artists: (Eva & Franco Mattes), Constant Dullaart, Curating YouTube (Robert Sakrowski), Joel Holmberg, JODI, JK Keller, Olia Lialina, Jonas Lund, Rosa Menkman, Katja Novitskova, Niko Princen, Casey Reas, Evan Roth, Andrew Salomone, Borna Sammak, UBERMORGEN.COM

Curator's Statement:
“If it had been possible to distribute video online from day one, there would be no Web as we know it today. Instead, during the long wait for shareable online video, artists developed a distinctive language that we still value today, applying clever montages, modular visuals constructed form reusable, repeatable elements, and minimal activity…”
—Olia Lialina (2010). “Early Experiments Online,” article published on 'The Take,’ at

Technological developments over the last three decades have generated a vast range of production and distribution methods for the moving image that have significantly deconstructed the linearity of film and video. The rapidly changing landscape of the web, code, vectors, 2D, 3D, games, glitches, and GIFs has profoundly influenced the way we perceive video today. Works produced by these new processes and software tools often have very little in common with traditional video: some are closer to paintings, some loop in micro movies, and others exploit system faults. Many of these moving images are software processes that result in a wide range of visualizations, and a lot of them exist in single frames, code-generated vectors, manipulated computer games, or screencasts of operating systems.

The moving image has been hacked, transformed, and infiltrated from multiple directions and digital sources, but over the last ten years it also conquered the Internet. The show HOT represents a wide range of artistic positions analyzing, reinterpreting, and deconstructing the moving image. New and classic works from well-established digital artists will be served to a public hot on silver disc 24/7.
INSERT DISC (September 22–October 29, 2012) »
Selected CD-ROM art of the 90s on DVD
Curated by Aram Bartholl & Robert Sakrowski (

The second DVD Dead Drop show, INSERT DISC, features several classic art CD-ROMs from the mid-1990s on DVD. While the web was still in its infancy, artists from a wide range of fields explored the possibilities of interactivity and multimedia on CD-ROMs, fancy new silver discs that held an unbelievable 650 megabytes of data. Today most of these pre-web multimedia works are no longer accessible because they require legacy operating systems and software to run. INSERT DISC offers the full experience of a cutting edge, mid-90s operating system packed with stunning multimedia art. Each DVD comes with a safe-to-install virtualized Ubuntu Linux operating system running an emulated Mac OS 7.6. In addition to the historic CD-ROM art, special features include historic browsers, link lists, and more, guaranteeing a true 1995 computer experience!

Selected works:

Anti Rom (1995)
SASS Collective: Andy Allenson, Joel Baumann, Andy Cameron, Rob LeQuesne, Luke Pendrell, Sophie Pendrell, Andy Polaine, Anthony Rogers, Nik Roope, Tom Roope, Joe Stephenson, Jason Tame

Cyberflesh Girlmonster (1995)
Linda Dement

Manuscript (1994)
Eric Lanz

User Unfriendly Interface (1997)
Josephine Starrs & Leon Cmielewski

Special Features:
Period browsers and bookmarks, ‘Einblicke ins Internet’ offline Internet CD-ROM, and more

Andreas Broeckmann, Sandra Fauconnier, nbk Berlin, ZKM Karlsruhe, Transmediale archive
Let's Play Max Payne (October 30–December 6, 2012) »
Eighteen hours of 'Let's Play' Max Payne walkthrough videos on DVD

Three players—Tetraninja, AMF1534, and TehNevs—provide commentary while playing Max Payne 1, 2, and 3 from start to finish. Enjoy 4.5 GB and 60 video files of intense game-play action, hilarious comments, and compelling story-mode cut scenes.

The video game series Max Payne, which premiered in 2001, represents an important milestone in gaming history. Initially developed by the Finnish game studio Remedy, this third-person shooter won acclaim for its strong storyline and film noir scenarios coupled with its unique use of "bullet time" slow motion effects and advanced character controls. Through a large number of cut scenes and off-screen narration, the game tells the classic story of a revenge-driven cop in an experience at the intersection of cinema and game. In the latest title Max Payne 3, developed by Rockstar Games, the broke ex-cop Max once again causes more problems than he solves. Famous for high quality storytelling and hilarious cynical humor, Rockstar delivers another groundbreaking third-person game/film hybrid.

"Let's Play" originated on Something Awful forums in 2006 as screen shot walkthroughs of video games before also coming to describe screen capture videos of game walkthroughs. Instead of playing a game oneself, the viewer watches someone else play, a common gesture in gaming culture. As CPUs and screen capture software became more powerful, Let's Play developed into a widespread entertainment form. Many Let's Play enthusiasts have attracted large numbers of subscribers on YouTube and frequently play several games for large audiences.

As Max Payne already possesses many cinematic qualities, the Let's Play version of the game adds another layer of experience. The common third-person game perspective is heightened by a fourth person: the commenting player. Through multiple pairs of eyes, the viewer can relax and watch the action take place from a double over the shoulder view.

Aram Bartholl 2012

Videos by:
Home Entertainment (December 7, 2012–February 7, 2013) »
Aram Bartholl. 2012, 31 mins. DVD.

The reign of the DVD is over, and with it the era of the extra. Before home entertainment was streamed from the cloud, movies came on DVDs that contained more than just the featured attraction. Studios added bonus content like behind-the-scenes documentaries and audio commentaries to make DVDs more desirable to consumers.

But DVDs also came with undesirable extras that were universally frustrating to captive audiences waiting for their movie to begin: unskippable content. Trailers for upcoming movies, promotional spots, and other unwanted clips all found their way immovably in front of featured attractions.

Home Entertainment is a collection of media found on DVDs from around the world that you always wanted to skip, but couldn't: international copyright warnings, home entertainment publisher logos, studio and distributor bumpers, anti-piracy propaganda, and more. This time, however, all the clips are chaptered, so you can finally skip them.
BEST OF Fach & Asendorf Gallery (February 8–March 18, 2013) »
Compiled by Ole Fach & Kim Asendorf (

Fach & Asendorf Gallery debuted online in 2011 with these words:
The Internet, it is everywhere. It is here, it is there and it is where you actually are. It is so huge that nobody ever could print it. It is so deep that no one ever would dive to its end. There is peace and war in it, love and hate and all between. Once you have traveled through it, you will never forget, and you will come back, asap.
Since then, Fach & Asendorf Gallery has served 24 online exhibitions of digital and net art to more than 28,000 unique visitors. To celebrate the beginning of their third season, Fach & Asendorf Gallery presents BEST OF, an enormous collection of unreleased and exclusive work by 78 artists from around the world spanning a broad range of formats including applications, videos, and animated GIFs. BEST OF is a whole week of Internet on DVD.

Participating artists:
A Bill Miller, Absis Minas, Alan Butler, Alexander Peverett, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Andrew Benson, Andrew Rosinski, Anthony Antonellis, Aoki and Peverett, Art 404, Bea Fremderman, Brandon Blommaert, Carlos Saez, Charles Chalas, Chris Collins, Christian Petersen, Claudia Mate, Clement Valla and Kyle McDonald, Constant Dullaart,, Daniel Leyva, Daniel Rehn, David Kraftsow, Deanna Havas, Dominik Podsiadly, Emilie Gervais, Emilio Gomariz, Fabien Mousse, Ferestec, Florian Kuhlmann, Francoise Gamma, Fritz Laszlo Weber, Georges Jacotey, Goto80, Grace McEvoy, Hugo Scibetta, Jacob Engblom, Jan Robert Leegte, Jasper Elings, Jennifer Chan, Jerome Saint-Clair, JK Keller, Johannes P Osterhoff, Jon Satrom, Jonas Lund, Jonathan Pirnay and Jörn Röder, jonCates, Jordan Tate, Jörg Piringer, Julien A Lacroix, Lorna Mills, Małgosia Woźnica, Manuel Fernández, Mark Beasley, Mark Durkan, Martin Böttger, Matthew Williamson, Max Capacity, Michael Manning, Mitch Trale, Miyö Van Stenis, Nicholas O'Brien, Nick Briz, Nicolas Boillot, Nicolas Sassoon, Niko Princen, Olivier Ratsi, Paul Flannery, Philipp Teister, Rajeev Basu, Raphaël Bastide, Rick Silva, Rollin Leonard, Sara Ludy, Sarah Samy, Sarah Weis, Sebastian Schmieg and Silvio Lorusso, Stefan Riebel, Sterling Crispin, Ted Davis, Theodore Darst, Thomas Cheneseau, Travis Hallenbeck, Yoshi Sodeoka
Vertical Video (March 19–May 14, 2013) »
Organized by and Aram Bartholl. 2013, 62 mins. DVD.

Vertical Video is a one-hour selection of amateur videos captured in the 9:16 aspect ratio, first compiled for a special screening in Berlin entitled Vertical Cinema. The DVD includes a special How To video with instructions for adjusting a home theater or other viewing environment to properly experience these works.

Fueled by a proliferation of mobile, inexpensive, high quality cameras and free online distribution platforms, self-trained media producers continue to invent creative uses for media technologies that challenge contemporary viewing behaviors and expectations. Even though the 9:16 aspect ratio is often understood to be "wrong"–the result of using a camera "incorrectly"–videos in 9:16 are being created and distributed online at an increasing rate. Unchained from cinema screens, televisions, and computer monitors, media makers are free to create for viewing experiences outside of traditional horizontal exhibition hardware.

Vertical Video is a compilation of videos with a wide range of subjects–including architecture, wildlife, bodies in motion, gaming, eyewitness accounts, and current events–whose vertical treatment is a natural and fitting decision. Until now, many of these videos have only been seen online where they have been thickly pillarboxed and shrunk to squeeze into the existing horizontal viewing system. This compilation provides evidence that a new generation of media producers, freed from concerns about conventional screening requirements, reject the arbitrary restrictions of the horizontal screen and maintain a more fluid relationship with the frame.
KATSU.DATA.BOMBING (May 15–June 25, 2013) »
new work by KATSU

KATSU.DATA.BOMBING is a collection of animated GIFs, images, and videos by notorious New York City-based graffiti artist KATSU. Though KATSU comes from a world of spray cans and markers, he regularly experiments with new technologies to inject his personal brand into the public consciousness both on and offline, using the methods and aesthetics of hacking, advertising, and vandalism. KATSU's tools include fire extinguishers and iPhone apps; his canvases range from phone booths to Minecraft.

KATSU.DATA.BOMBING offers a new set of unapologetic digital interventions–including provocatively photoshopped stickers, looping marker tags, and savvy documentaries–that evoke the adrenaline-fueled sense of invincibility that comes from regular defiance and transgression.
VIRII (June 26–August 15, 2013) »
Organized by Aram Bartholl

VIRII examines the history and aesthetics, real and imagined, of the computer virus. The volume, a full 4.7GB, includes more than 30,000 actual computer viruses in a password-protected folder, video documentation of nearly a dozen computer viruses, a selection of articles about historically significant viruses, and a gallery of virus clip art.

Viruses, software programs named for their nefarious ability to self-replicate, captured the public's imagination in the 1980s as personal computers became widely adopted. Viruses of this era would often lie dormant until certain days, when they would activate and create a visible disturbance on screen or erase parts of a computer's hard drive.

By contrast, today's viruses are designed to be invisible: hijacking computer resources to send unsolicited email, mask a criminal's tracks, wage denial-of-service attacks, or spy on the user. Once the domain of tech-savvy pranksters and mischievous hackers, today viruses serve as lucrative tools for economic fraud and weapons regularly deployed for espionage and cyber warfare.
The Flux Priority (August 16–October 8, 2013) »
Flux Factory. 2013, 5 mins. DVD.

In this reverse heist shot (somewhat) surreptitiously throughout Museum of the Moving Image, art collective Flux Factory exploits the Museum's exhibitions, installations, and architecture as sets; its objects as props; and its staff and visitors as actors and extras. Written, shot, and edited collaboratively, "The Flux Priority" follows a preposterous gang of bandits on an ambiguous quest for world domination, or Queens domination, or something.

Flux Factory, founded in 1994, is an art collective, residency program, and non-profit arts organization based in Long Island City, New York.
The Last DVD (October 9–November 26, 2013) »
Over the course of 13 months, DVD Dead Drop served almost a million files from an inconspicuous hole in the side of the Museum. For its tenth and final volume, DVD Dead Drop goes meta, offering a selection of material about DVD Dead Drop itself, including fan-made works, surveillance camera footage, a making-of video, public responses, and more. The Last DVD is a collection of memories and stories from DVD Dead Drop on a keepsake object recorded by the installation itself, a farewell to physical media as we complete our transition to the age of The Cloud.

On November 27th, the hole in the side of the Museum will be sealed forever.

HOT (August 16–September 21, 2012)

INSERT DISC (September 22–October 29, 2012)

Let's Play Max Payne (October 30–December 6, 2012)

Home Entertainment
(December 7, 2012–February 7, 2013)

BEST OF Fach & Asendorf Gallery
(February 8–March 18, 2013)

Vertical Video (March 19–May 14, 2013)

KATSU.DATA.BOMBING (May 15–June 25, 2013)

VIRII (June 26–August 15, 2013)

The Flux Priority (August 16–October 8, 2013)

The Last DVD (October 9–November 26, 2013)

How to burn a DVD
Aram Bartholl