A USB drive is a flash memory data storage device that is integrated with a Universal Serial Bus interface. With the invention of USB drives, digital information has become extremely portable and easy to transfer in large quantities from one computer to another. For Designated Drivers, we invited an international selection of twenty people and groups to each fill one four-gigabyte USB flash drive with material of their choosing. These drives will then be presented in exhibition spaces, attached to wall-mounted retractable laundry lines. Visitors will be able to load their own drives or laptops (or use a host computer and CDrs or DVDrs) with any of the material they would like from each of the flash drives.
The contents of the flash drives in Designated Drivers are deliberately not available online from one centralized location. We want you to get out of your house. We want you to mingle, in person, with others and talk about which files look interesting to transfer and which might be more to someone else's liking. We want to make file sharing a bit more physical, social and special again -- the way that tape traders in the 1980s would duplicate music onto cassette for another another and mail amazing obscurities to each other all over the world. We also recall those who linked their VCRs together to share obscure films and concert footage. Technology has come a long way, and today we can make these exchanges without a quality loss with each generation that gets removed from the original. We can fit more copies into ever smaller packages. But we question our own growing dependence on the internet as a means of detached information exchange and want to try another approach.
Each Designated Driver has written an introduction to their device. We welcome you to copy whatever you like, and to further share it however you see fit. We encourage you to organize your own social file sharing situations to make this process more fun, more social, and a hell of a lot less controllable.