Electronic Sculpture Archive
Bruce Cannon

This site is an archive of my older interactive,  electronic and computer-controlled sculpture.  You can always find out about my latest projects via my gateway, brucecannon.com.


Caspule #1 (1999); click for an enlargement
Capsule #1 (1999)

Capsules (1999-2003)

Vintage telephone, computer, digital speech system, clock, battries; 6x8x4"; 5lbs.

status: available as a series of evolving works

Shown is the first in a series of custom audio time capsules, designed to allow their owners to record a message and send it into the future.  While future systems will have dial-based user interfaces for self-programming and modification, this first machine is set up as a collaboration between myself and its owner.

Upon its purchase, I help its owner record a two minute digital message, place it into the system, and then program the clock subsystem with the desired capsule opening date, which can be up to 100 years away.

Capsule #1 being answered; click for an enlargement
Capsule #1 being answered

Once set, the "message waiting" light will blink and the handset will tell listeners when the capsule will open.

At the appointed time and date, the phone will ring. Whoever answers will hear the message from the past. If no one answers, the system will call back every hour. Once the message is played, the capsule remains open. From that point forward, anyone who picks up the handset will hear the message.

The system can be used to record secrets, to send advice to future generations, to record wisdom for posterity or to preserve family history. It could also be used for shorter-term special events such as an anniversary or a graduation.


Capsule #1 project document; click for more details
Capsule #1 project document

This piece is the first in a series of time capsules.  The next version will use a dial as the user interface, allowing its owner to change recordings and opening dates at will.

Capsule #1 is accompanied by a project document, a drawing which incorporates concept notes, sketches, schematics, code listings and other materials.  For more details, visit that piece's page.

Note: this series and related works are covered in more detail at timesystems.org


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Creative Commons License.

Creative Commons License