Share your clipboard contents with the world.


Jonah Brucker-Cohen


Digital Visions, 5/10/03 @ University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada., 3/18/03.

Institute of Contemporary Art 3/10/04, London, UK.


Article about ClipIt! on Neural Online (5/10/02)



ClipIt! Is a downloadable networked application that provides an ambient connection to other people’s desktops by distributing the contents of each users clipboard. The project works as an automatic Post-It or sticky note that is meant to allow people to catch a glimpse of the activity on other people’s machines.

Copy and paste are ubiquitous elements of the modern computer GUI interface. They are both infinitely useful for working with computers and are integral elements to all computers across all platforms. Our use of these functions is so natural that we even forget we use them and without them our methods of computer interaction would change dramatically.

ClipIt! centers on this background activity of copy and paste. Specifically, it looks at how we use, collect, distribute, and disseminate information. Instead of using foreground applications like Instant Messengers and email, where you have to actively connect to people, ClipIt! is deliberately intended for background use. When multiple users are connected, their clipboards are uploaded and shared with each other, thus providing an ambient link and direct window into someone else’s activities.

The project allows people to be aware of each other’s computer usage and to “get a feel” for what they are working on or thinking about in real-time. ClipIt! follows in the footsteps of programs like Deskswap, an application that allows you to share screenshots of desktops with other people, but is more interested in sharing the low-bandwidth information of everyday interaction.


The system works as a downloadable application for both Mac and PC that is meant to run all day long in the background of your networked computer. Users do not have to ‘paste’ anything to ClipIt!, they only have to copy information as they would normally. The program loops through all of the clipboards according to who logged in first and displays text and small graphics that are copied.