As one operator (Scott Hankin: firstname.lastname@example.org) suggested, we viewed the process of discovering artifacs as a metaphor for the Internet itself. Choosing artifacts with some "underlying logic" presented a challenge for collective interaction which motivated users to return to the site. It also gave us an opportunity to make a meta-comment on the whole affair.
The artifacts were inspired by the text: Journey to the Centre of
the Earth written by Jules Verne in 1864.
Verne is considered by many to be the father of Science
Fiction; his 64 novels anticipate a variety of technological means of
travel to distant places.
Choosing which artifacts to bury was difficult; just as the designer of a jigsaw puzzle must "ask himself all the questions the player will have to solve, and, instead of allowing chance to cover his tracks, aim to replace it with cunning, trickery, and subterfuge" (Georges Perec, Life a User's Manual).
Below we expose some of the contents; we leave the rest to you.
Most of the
artifacts (except the sea monsters) appear in the first 7 chapters
of the Verne's
page 1: "...St. Michael's clock has only just struck half past one."
The watch was the best evidence that we weren't faking the site with
And just so you don't get the idea that everything in there was literally taken from the text, there were a few conceptual links as well, such as:
The "magic lantern" was an early mechanism for viewing sequences of
images. This 1/12 scale replica was on loan from the LA Museum of
Finally, we'd like to acknowledge the following log entry..
From: richard K : email@example.com
Date: Thu Sep 22 08:34:06 PDT 1994
Have successfully unearthed a detailed photograph of what I believe to be the robot god...I hope to discover more on future expeditions.
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