@cogdog's Digital Time Capsule

A Digital Time Capsule

Do you remember time capsules, the boxes of mementoes, pictures, and stuff we would bury in a place and not look at at for years, if at all? Well, during my 5 months of traveling in 2011, I wanted to create a digital one, and asked for help in adding content to it.

In 2011, I was looking for digital files as I traveled 15,000 miles around the US and Canada (and a jump to Australia) -- written words, poems, original music, audio recordings, videos, animations, anything you could create that said something about that time, what you were doing, or the place you were at, you or the sounds in your back yard-- or even what you had for lunch today. Captured moments.

What I sought are not things downloaded from the web, but ones you created, that do not exist anywhere else online. I collected over 1200 photos, audio files, documents, videos, and remixes.

The World in a StoryBox / The StoryBox in the World

A magical place

In 2013 I am taking the StoryBox out in the world again, starting in March with a visit to Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. In each place, I will gather media, and open up the StoryBox wherever I go so others can join in as well. In my visits with educators and students, I plan to have them contribute and partake in three ways:

  • Explore what is inside, to generate curiosity, to inspire ideas what to add, maybe as prompts for creative activity.
  • Add new media to the StoryBox. Here you will find some suggested prompts that may help you figure out what to add. I will also have a way set up for people to contribute who are not in the vicinity of the StoryBox.
  • Remix the media within, create something new, and add that back to the StoryBox. This is the most interesting part to me.

You can track the current status at

How to Contribute

CIndy adds to the storybox...

I am traveling with this real object, an anonymous digital collection box if you will, accesible wonly in places I am at and it is tyrned on. If you are reading this online, I have another way for you to be part of this.

  • Step away from the computer, and reflect for a bit.
  • Create some content (e.g. text document, photo, audio file). Do not use your name to identify yourself, this is anonymous. Be sure to give your stuff descriptive or interesting file names; that is the only thing people will have to go by when they look inside the StoryBox/
  • Upload as many things as you like to -- use the password storybox.
  • New! You can email attachments to my dropbox via storybox (UNDERSCORE) tu8r (AT) sendtodropbox DOT com

What to Contribute


All kinds of media files are welcome in the StoryBox!

The idea is to capture what life, people, places are like in different parts of the world, to share/compare/reflect.

But maybe you need some prompts. That's what I am here for.

  • A photo of a recent meal.
  • An audio recording of the sounds during your commute to work or school.
  • A video showing us the view out your window.
  • A photo of the tallest building or structure in the city/town you live in.
  • A poem you wrote about what you like about the place you live.
  • A video interview with someone special in your life.
  • A photo or video of a mode of transportation you used today.
  • A photo of your favorite book.
  • A video of you or someone else telling a joke. The worse the joke the better.
  • A recording of you playing a musical instrument.
  • A photo of an open vista.
  • A video tour of your school, office, workplace.
  • A photo of a drawing you made of the most impressive place you visited.
  • A photo of lucky charm, talisman, or something you always carry with you.
  • A photo of your shoes.
  • A video panorama of a sunrise or sunset view.
  • A photo of an unusual object in a place you might not expect to find it.
  • The sound of you and/or your friends laughing.
  • An audio greeting in every language that you know.
  • A photo of the palm of you hand with a message written on it.
  • A recording of an elder in your life/family sharing the most important life lesson they know.
  • A photo or video of severe weather.
  • A photo or video of your pet.
  • A photo of someone with their eyes closed, deep in thought.
  • An audio recording of the sounds walking in a park or down a busy street.
  • A photo of the most typical place tourists might go if they visited where you live.
  • A photo of your kitchen.
  • A video showing something fun to do outside.
  • A photo showing your favorite place to sit and contemplate life.

That should get you started!

What Becomes of the Stuff?

Rowan Peter peeks over the StoryBox

Then what? I am still not sure. At one time I thought about putting all the content back to the web, but now having traveled with the StoryBox, what makes the content special is that it is in the box. My plan is to archive the content from my 2011 travels, and create new collections as I experiment with workshops with small groups. The new goal is to ask people to remix and combine the StoryBox Content, and then publish that work onto the web.

If you have created anything from StoryBox content, please let me know via

Known StoryBox sightings include:

About PirateBox/StoryBox

A look inside the storybox

This "PirateBox" was designed as a simple, free, anonymous file sharing mechanism created by David Darts, an art professor at NYU (learn more...)

About the size of a thick paperback book, it is a self-contained web server (running on a thumb drive) and wireless router. When activated, it creates an open wireless network named "PirateBox: Share Freely". Anyone who joins it can share files (and see what has been shared). It has been called "an artistic provocation".

The main premise is to share content, that for now, does not exist anywhere else. Im my version of a PirateBox, I am looking for things that might help tell a story, hence, it is a StoryBox.

This is where the StoryBox traveled in 2011:

View Where is the StoryBox? in a larger map

It even has a song written for it by @onepercentyello- listen to All The Pirates Get in the Box

What was collected includes...

  • audio recordings: 151
  • documents: 18
  • music: 47
  • photos: 927
  • videos: 106
  • remixes: 6



I am asking you to share and give away everything you put on here, and can only hope you trust me with that. Consider this a place for your second hand images, your throwaways. Put together, I am inviting other people to create new stories out of the pieces, and to release these mixes into the open web.

If you don't like these ridiculous conditions, then please disconnect and have a nice day. I admit by asking you to share in anonymity, I wont be able to give you credit. C'est la vie d'internet.



Thanks to Grant Potter for pointing out the PirateBox; Zack "NoiseProfessor" Dowell for actually building and giving me one, and Giulia Forsythe for helping frame the questions and making me some cool art like the invitation cards and stickers!


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