• The Storybox

  • An Ephemeral Internet?

  • Share/Explore/Remix

a digital time capsule


A Digital Time Capsule

This device, hidden inside a 1930s vintage camera, presents an open, public wireless network that does not connect to the internet, but to an internal self-contained web server. Designed for anonymous file sharing and presenting itself as an "artistic provocation", the Storybox presents an interesting means to collect and create from ephemeral media. Learn more below, but better yet upload some media, explore what resides here, or see ways you can create stories from what you find inside.


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The StoryBox is a digital time capsule I took on a 15,000 mile trip around the USA and Canada in 2011. Based on the PirateBox technology developed originally by NYU professor David Darts, it is a self-contained digital exchange that advertises itself via a local ad hoc wireless network. People in the vicinity have the ability to anonymously share and download digital content but since it is not on the Internet, the only place to interact with it is while in its vicinity. The idea of it here is (1) to contribute digital artifacts which capture a sense of place and “now” and (2) explore what happens or what one can make of a collecting or examining a collection of media with no context.

See Storybox sightings for my other experiences with this idea.


Upload to the Storybox


The upload interface to the Storybox is available only when you are logged into the Storybox - Share Freely wireless network. You can upload any files to it from a laptop/desktop computer or an Android powered mobile device. On iOS platforms, you can upload only pictures or videos from your photo library, or save directly from the camera app.

If you are uploading from a non iOS device, please consider giving your files descriptive names; that is the only thing that will identify the file.

Note that you can go to the Uploader any time via the navigation icon Upload

What Should I Share?

This of course is where it gets interesting. The goal of the Storybox is to collect media that somehow represents "now" in the place you live and work and play. What sorts of things give a clue to a future person who might come across this time capsule? What can it do to show the way of life today?

As some suggestions, here are a few general types of questions. Feel free to modify or use your own. Don't like them? Generate new ones!

Ahem, You Are Sharing Freely and Giving it All Away

I am asking you to share and give away everything you put on here with no attribution possible or rights- you are trusting it to me. Please do not upload something that you did not create.

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 won't be able to give you credit.

I'm Ready!

Most excellent! Figure out what kind of media you can share.


See What's Inside


The Storybox Explorer provides a visual browser of all of the content that has been shared so far, and allows you to filter the media by media type. Note that these are all the pieces of content that have been processed; the newest items uploaded will be added after this current session (it takes out magic elves a few clicks of time to make it look that pretty).

Note that you can go to the Explorer any time via the navigation icon Explore



This will include a series of examples remixes made by participants. Make one by exploring the media, downloading ones you find useful, and creating something new out of combining them as video, audio, documents, or more.


Ways to Add to Storybox

Built into the Storybox architecture are these ways to create and add stories back into the box


A small lightweight wiki with suggestions on how to create content using media from within the Storybox.

Image Board

Like a discussion forum, a means to build on previous work, including adding images for a visual style of communication.


Download media to your own device, create something new, and resubmit it back to the StoryBox

Storybox Sightings

Learn more...

  • Storybox Video
    Storybox Video
    June 19, 2011

    An overview and call for participation for my first Storybox experience.

  • Piratebox is a storybox
    My PirateBox is a StoryBox
    June 1, 2011

    IN this blog post I describe where this idea came from and the technology behind it.

  • The Odyssey
    2001 Road Dog Odyssey
    March 17 - December 25, 2011

    The series of blog posts from my 15,000 mile trip around the US and Canada, where the Storybox traveled with me.

  • Demo
    Storybox Demo Content
    October 6, 2012

    A self contained demo of the Storybox interface made of selected content collected in 2011.

  • Treasure Box
    OpenEd 2012 TreasureBox
    October 10-12, 2012

    An instance of the Storybox built for the 2012 Open Education Conference (Vancouver, BC)

  • Create with Storybox
    Create Something With the StoryBox
    March 6, 2012

    A featured presentation at the 2012 SXSW EDU conference; designed to be run directly from the Storybox


more info

(of course this means if you are connected to that other internet)

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