P1: Time Capsule (Online Zine)

Create a time capsule of your early internet experience(s) for people in the future.

In this class we’ve discussed the history of the internet and the changing ways people have used it over time. Now, you’ll contribute your own experience to that history. You are some of the last people who will be able to remember your lives before the internet! In this project, you’ll document the internet you first used for people in the future.

For our first multi-week project, you will research, design, and code a one-page website that uses images and text to communicate your own early experiences online – a time capsule for future generations to learn about that era. One way to think of this is an online zine, an art form that – enabled by their low-cost and DIY methods have historically represented sub-cultures and alternative value systems. Consider what website(s) or platform(s) first got you engaged with the internet? Was your internet mostly text-based, like a chatroom? Were you making memes and sharing them in forums? Did you take care of your Neopet or tend your FarmVille farm? How did these experiences bind you to a community or subgroup, and what are the visual indicators of said group?

Consider how you can share the look and feel of these experiences with people who aren’t familiar with them. Challenge yourself to research compelling and meaningful imagery and information. How can you then shape that research into a design structured as a one-page website?

In addition to imagery, consider your site’s layout, typography, color, and interaction. What feeling are you trying to convey to your audience, and what design choices will reinforce that? What choices are appropriate for the message or subject you’ve chosen? How can these elements enhance or emphasize the information you’re presenting?





To approach our projects we’ll use (an accelerated) process similar to what Caroline Sinders describes in her piece for “How to make research-driven art”

A research-driven artwork generally progresses in three stages. At the beginning, it’s about having the intention to explore an idea, and then (you guessed it) researching that idea. The middle stage focuses on moving and shaping an idea as you learn and explore. This part of the process is gray, beautiful, and middling—you have to follow where the idea leads. Lastly, it’s about considering possible manifestations or outputs that feel appropriate for containing and sharing the body of knowledge you’ve accrued. This manifestation should be greatly shaped by the research and guided by the question(s) you’re seeking to answer (i.e. your intent). The whole research-driven art process is about building a foundation of knowledge and exploration, and then constructing a manifested “artwork”—which can be anything—on top of that.

Part 1: Research and Intent
First, define the aspect of your early internet experience you want to document and why. Determine 2 proposals for your time capsules subject matter and find at least 20 supporting images.

Due 3.12

Part 2: Moving and Shaping
Consider the possible manifestations of your work. To do this, collect, parse, sketch, and formally experiment. Create 2 distinct visual proposals in graphics software, then narrow them down to 1 final proposal as an interactive prototype.

Due 3.19

Part 3: Output
Translate your proposal into an interactive outcome. Consider what the transformation between an interactive prototype, and actual code enables. Upload your time capsule, and link it to your class website.

Due 4.09



Week 7
TR - Kickoff P1

Week 8
T  – Review topic proposals and 20+ Images (Part 1 due)
TR – Review 2 high-fidelity design proposals 

Week 9
T  – Review 1 refined design proposal as an interactive prototype
     (Part 2 due)
TR – Begin translating your projects into code

Week 10
Spring Break – no class

Week 11
T  – 75% Buildout review
TR – Working Time / Technical feedback

Week 12
T  – Final Critique (Part 3 due)