Imagine if we all found a letter in a bottle at the same time and experienced a hidden world, together.
Now imagine if instead of words on a page, the bottle you found held a luminous snapshot of a time and place from the past, brought to life again for an instant in your imagination. Hold your small jar up to the light and you might find Hong Kong or Cuba in the 1950's, Paris in the 1940's, zebras racing across the Serengeti, Rome at night, a Japanese tea ceremony, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, a wall in ancient Iraq, an ancient temple or some other vision of the world captured on a slide.
This idea came about after I'd been collecting fragments and tiny objects for years and storing them in jars. Instead of bringing home objects from my adventures, I bring back small jars filled with the distilled essence of a place.
This started years ago when I found myself with a stack of old letters and photographs that I didn't want to keep or throw away. So I shredded them. Broken down that way, the sentiments became more universal and less specific. Over time I made jars from tiny stones, shredded notes, documents, sand, wings--anything and everything. Each jar has a story.
A couple of months ago, I came up with an idea for a new kind of Mystery Jars when I opened an old box and found a photographic slide inside. I don't have a slide projector so I held it up to the light to find a gazebo from a journalism assignment from many years ago. It was so beautiful that it made me start to think about all the countless moments captured luminously on slides in boxes and attics all over the world, collecting dust. I put my gazebo slide in a jar so I could look at it without getting fingerprints on it. The jar became a little theatre of the imagination for the image, and when people came into my studio at Science House they loved it. Since slides are essentially the imprint of time captured in light, it's like having a flickering firefly in a jar lighting up for an instant to fill you with wonder.
I started acquiring slide collections. I was stunned by what people sent me. I spent an entire evening going through one box. In a series of holidays, birthdays and other milestones, I saw a family grow. I watched babies become children. They morphed into high school graduates, then got married and became parents right in front of me, one small image at a time. I saw snapshots of Roman holidays, pilgrimages to the Holy Land, voyages in sailboats, Cuban dancing, bullfights in Spain, Mexican fisherman, French women with tiny dogs. So now instead of these thousands of images being in other people's basements and attics, they are stacked up in mine. Instead of just capturing my own memories in jars, I was suddenly storing the memories of strangers. These moments deserve a new life! Instead of keeping them, I want to share them with you. That's how this Kickstarter project, Time in a Bottle, was born.
I worked with designer Oliver Uberti to create the prototype for the box, the tags that tell the story of each image's contents, origin and date, and the booklet that shares a bit about the project with each supporter. With your support, I can finish curating the massive collection of slides in my studio, assemble the jars, write the history of each image on its tag, fasten the tags to the Mystery Jars, nestle them in gold paper in their boxes and ship them out to you.
With your support, thousands of moments that were lost in time will be brought to life again in the imaginations of people all over the world.
Time in a Bottle Mystery Jars make the perfect gift. I will get the first round out to supporters by the holidays. Make sure you read the reward levels carefully if you'd like to get your Mystery Jars in time to share the unexpected gift of time travel experience with friends and family before the end of the year. Two of the reward categories will ship in time for the holidays. The rest will ship at the beginning of 2014.
Supporters who choose TIME TRAVELER'S ADVENTURE CLUB will receive the most spectacular images in the collection, as well as a letter from me. Members of the TIME TRAVELER'S ADVENTURE CLUB set are asked to wait until a specific time and date to open their boxes so we can all share the experience at the same time, instantly resurrecting people, places and objects from multiple continents in our minds simultaneously and sharing our discoveries. The time and date will be revealed in the letter that accompanies each box in this set. Let's travel through time together by bringing the past back to life in the future.
PS. Kickstarter doesn't allow the merger of multiple accounts, so this account only reflects the last dozen Kickstarter projects I've supported. Under my other account, I supported 38 additional projects. Aside from the project that didn't deliver, I've loved watching these projects grow over time, and I'm thrilled to finally launch my own!
Risks and challenges
Backers who choose levels that ship in December must immediately respond to requests for shipping information or I can't guarantee holiday delivery, given the timing, but I will do my best. Those who share shipping information on time will receive their rewards first. In order to prevent any potential problems, I've limited the quantity of Mystery Jars that will ship in December. Please read the reward levels carefully before making a selection.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)