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Random Darknet Shopper (2014 - ongoing)

The Random Darknet Shopper is an automated online shopping bot which we provide with a budget of $100 in Bitcoins per week. Once a week the bot goes shopping in the deep web where it randomly chooses and purchases one item and has it mailed directly to the exhibition space. Once the items arrive they are unpacked and displayed, each new object adding to a landscape of traded goods from the Darknet.

The Random Darknet Shopper is a live Mail Art piece, an exploration of the deep web via the goods traded there. It directly connects the Darknet with the gallery. By randomizing its consumerism, the bot is guaranteed a wide selection of goods from the thousands listed on deepweb markets.

In its first run from October 2014 - January 2015, Random Darknet Shopper bought 12 items from the deepweb market Agora, which were displayed at Kunst Halle St. Gallen in the exhibition «The Darknet - From Memes to Onionland. An Exploration». Since Agora discontinued its services in September, Random Darknet Shopper will now order items from Alpha Bay, currently the largest deepweb market place.

Ljubljana Edition: Aksioma Institute for Contemporary Art, 24 Feb – 25 Mar 2016
London Edition: Horatio Junior Gallery, London, Dec 11 2015 - Feb 5 2016
St. Gallen Edition: Kunst Halle St. Gallen, Switzerland, Oct 14 2014 - Jan 15 2015

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19.11.14 | No. 9
Decoy first class letter - plain letter
Random Darknet Shopper just bought itself a test letter for 7$ from the U.S.

First Class Decoy Letter
Ordered by Random Darknet Shopper (19 Nov 14)
for 0.01842929 Bitcoins
Status: Arrived (6 Jan 15)
Shipped from USA
Item No. 9

It seems that Random Darknet Shopper needs some time for reflection. The bot just ordered a simple plain letter to test whether its address is working correctly.

From the description:
«This is a simple service, a single plain letter or card will be sent to the address of your choice. There may or may not be some sort of correspondence on the inside, most of the time they will just contain blank paperwork. See other listings for customizable decoys What is the purpose of this? you may ask...
- to see if your roommates/parents are scrutinizing or opening your mail
- to test a new drop address
- to see if your mail is flagged or somehow otherwise interrupted
- to simply fill up your PO box / mailbox with something besides drug mail»


12.11.14 | No. 8
Baseball Cap with Spy Camera
Random Darknet Shopper bought spy gear for 0.25974025 BTC

Baseball Cap with Spy Camera
Ordered by Random Darknet Shopper (12 Nov 14)
for 0.25974025 Bitcoins
Status: Arrived (2 Dec 14)
Shipped from Singapore
Item No. 8

Original description:
«Mini DV DVR Video Cap Camera Recorder MP3/Bluetooth. It has the function of taking photos and record, easy and simple operate, easy to carry, It is a practical tool which widely used in the living security, tourism and other essential field, great help for you!»


05.11.14 | No. 7
NIKE Air Yeezy 2
Random Darknet Shopper bought Kanye West sneakers from China for 75$.

NIKE Air Yeezy 2
Ordered by Random Darknet Shopper (5 Nov 14)
for 0.22061418 Bitcoins
Status: Arrived (20 Nov 14) Shipped from China
Item No. 7


29.10.14 | No. 6
Ecstasy 10x yellow Twitter 120mg Mdma
Random Darknet Shopper just bought 10 Ecstasy pills of from Germany for 48$

Ecstasy 10 yellow Twitter Pills 120mg Mdma
Ordered by Random Darknet Shopper (29 Oct 14)
for 0.1412554 Bitcoins
Status: Arrived (4 Nov 14)
Shipped from Germany
Item No. 6

The pills were vacuum-sealed in aluminium foil and placed inside a dvd case, so they would look like a dvd in a x-ray scan. The vendor promised very fast shipping and stealth packaging. Both seem true. The parcel was sent from Germany and crossed the border and customs to Switzerland without any problems.

Original describtion:
«Beautiful yellow round pills with twitter logo, beveled edges and breaking line on the back...»

15 Jan 2015 - Swiss Public Prosecutor seizes and seals work by !Mediengruppe Bitnik
04 Mar 2015 - Forensic examination shows that the pills really are Ecstasy
15 Apr 2015 - Random Darknet Shopper released, Ecstasy destroyed.