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about

„It's a place to bury a hatchet.
Immortalise the ephemeral.
Make a meme memorial.
Mark a mortal thought.
An Obytuary.“

/death/null is a graveyard for digital files. each file you upload will be directly streamed to /dev/null on this system, the so called null device which is a kind of nirvana or black hole in a computer system. in the process, the system selects bytes from your file and calculates a digital fingerprint, creating an online gravestone. afterwards, you may wish to delete any copies remaining on your system. you can always return to visit the grave of your file on the graveyard.

but ...?

/death/null is anything you want it to be. it brings the finite nature of human existence to the digital world. it rejects the ways of global players like google and facebook who are collecting and storing big loads of personal data without permission and without offering anyone adequate tools to delete their own data. it is about a never-sent loveletter that you want lay to rest. /death/null can be used to practice voodoo; write down something you whish (not) to happen into a text file, a name of somebody you (don't) like, save your file and bury it. use /death/null if you want to use a completely useless file at least one time and if you want to eternalize the transient. it's for digital romanticists, it's about living and dead ideas and everything in between. /death/null deals with the concepts behind original, copy, copyright and plagiarism and it's, as already said, everything you want it to be.

history

the idea for /death/null is more than 10 years old. in the meantime we tried out a lot of things; to create a client/server platform for /death/null, so that the data already streamed is deleted immediately on the system of the user. we began to develop client software for windows, mac os and linux. we had a lot of ideas; the possibility to laying a wreath at the grave, to let the user print the gravestone to t-shirts or play a funeral march and a lot of other stuff. but it gets more and more complex, and in the end i have returned to my original concept - a consitent and pure solution, especially because it leaves the copy of the transferred file on the users system.

future

maybe there are some bugs likely to remain in the system. we will search and eliminate them. but that's not all that is possible. if we find the time, we will make some enhancements and there are a lot of possible improvements: raising the possible file-size, making the gravestones smaller in filesize, adding improved handling features to the interface, ... of course it could be possible
that we come back to some of our old concepts and ideas, notably two features we already started to develop devices for. devices for celebrating real slick funerals: streaming files into water and to air/space. we could even imagine to converting your file to real material so that you can give it a conventional funeral. also, we are thinking about creating software-robots which could automatically scan the internet and stream what they find to the netherworld.

what others say

„that's a happy-sad project. you know how you take a walk in a graveyard and look at the stones, and the names remind you of someone, someplace, sometime - or not ? well, the names of the dead files remind me of this experience. for example, i'm sure i've got a oekotest-laeuser file to delete as well. so your death/null is a universal, unifying experience.“ (Rebeccah Blum)

„Wirklich gut...digital und doch so romantisch. Da öffnen sich zwischen den Bytes Traum- und Denkwelten! Ich will meine Grabsteine als Druck in 1,5m x 2,0m kaufen!“ (Jörg Langkau)

„[...] Für elektronische Dokumente existierte eine solche Stätte des Abreagierens bislang nicht. Spam oder schlechte Manuskripte konnte man bisher nur lautlos in einen virtuellen PC-Papierkorb verschieben. Das Kunstprojekt /death/null von Ulf Schleth dagegen gibt einem digitalen Löschprozess zumindest die Anmutung einer physischen Komponente. [...]“ (c't 17/10)

„[...] sito consigliato alle agenzie per disfarsi in maniera creativa degli ingombranti curriculum che giornalmente intasano le loro mail. [...]“ (comandC, 21.11.2010)

„[...] Das Projekt "Deathnull" erfüllt das Verlangen nach etwas Pathos, Nostalgie, Pietät im Umgang mit dem, was der Computer nur als Nullen und Einsen kennt, was für den Menschen vor der Tastatur aber einmal viel bedeutete. [...]“ (Hamburger Abendblatt, 11.04.2011)

„The open intentions of /death/null allows for many interpretations of social significance, but the most apparent would be to comment on the huge amounts of data sites like Facebook are collecting without any means to delete them [...]“ (ISTA 301 Blog, 25.10.2011)

„Terugkoppelend naar het "rituelen" gedeelte van de kunstgeschiedenis lessen, zou dit ook een voorbeeld kunnen zijn van een interactie, waarbij een alledaags voorwerp (het computerbestand) een extra betekenis meekrijgt. [...] Mijn conclusie is dat deze website het menselijke goed weet over te brengen naar het digitale, doormiddel van een bekend ritueel (begraven). Het vraagt daarbij ook de emotionele betrokkenheid van de gebruiker, wat het geheel zo sterk maakt. Voor mij dus een geweldig stukje internetkunst.“ (Rutger Klunder, 4.12.2011)

„הפרוייקט הזה בא ממקום אחר קצת, שדווקא מלין על כך שה-כ-ל נשמר, הכל מאורכב. ואנחנו בעצם לא נפטרים מכלום. כל פיסה דיגיטלית תחייה תמיד. וכאן האפשרות לקבור אותה… :)“ (doronnnnnn.tumblr.com)

security

as described above your file will not resist on our server. if you whish to transfer your file ssl-encrypted, you can submit it here: https://www.deathnull.org. you have to accept the self-signed /death/null ssl-certificate to do that.

version

0.96, 10.10.2011

who did this?

created by ulf schleth.
contact him here.

credits

with thanks to
einsnull webdesign, berlin
jan krüschet
penelope grabowski
eva schneider
buddy giovinazzo
lisa smith