USme

A place to keep your digital life.

Where do you store your secrets? How will they be safe?

This workshop is centered on the notion of digital secrets. How can you keep your online life safe? Who guards your privacy? It is targeted towards teenagers who find themselves working on shared computers and moving from shared computers at school to shared computers at home. The workshop process will move rapidly from a short introduction exercise (invisible ink) to designing and making a USB storage device for those things you cannot trust to anyone else.

The inside of a USB stick is a 2×1 cm metal square. Participants will strip the stick out of it’s plastic housing and build a new one made for and by themselves. The important and difficult job is to figure out how the device should be carried, where it is hidden and then build a housing for it accordingly. Will it be hidden in a piece of jewelry, in a hidden compartment in your bag or in a secret pocket inside your sleeve? Will you attach it to your phone, your keyring or your wallet? Will you wear it or carry it?

The workshop leaders will provide a number of examples and ideas if needed, and assist with the building process itself. The material for the housing ranges from fabric to foam, plastics and metal. The main structural component will be hot glue and sewn stiches. At the end of the workshop everyone has a new place to store their music and images and anything else that they need to carry from computer to computer. Along the way the participants will be able to meditate and express personal notions of identity and privacy. They can take their USme device home when they are done.

Result: personalised portable USB storage device to take home
Equipment: scissors and hand tools, hot glue gun, one power outlet
Estimated Material Cost: 2 euros pr participant [when materials are bought in bulk]
Duration: 1 hour