Real Snail Mail

The Real Snail Mail project will be part of the Slow Art exhibition at the SIGGRAPH 2008 conference in August. The snails are outfitted with RFID chips. Once the project site is running again, you can send a message to their server where it will be picked up by a snail and then dropped off at some point later on. It reminds me of the experiments with data transfer via snail conducted a few years ago by Yossi Vardi and friends in Israel! From the BBC News article about the Real Snail Mail Project:
 Rsm Images Enclosure5 Instead of instantaneous communication, sent messages will travel at 0.03mph (0.05km/h) and could take days, weeks or even months to arrive....

"One thing technology promises us is speed, acceleration, more of everything in less time," said Paul Smith, a visual artist working on the project.

"Culturally, we seem obsessed with immediacy. Time is not to be taken but crammed to bursting point."
Link to BBC News article, Link to RealSnailMail site, Link to SIGGRAPH 2008 "Slow Art" page

Previously on BB:
• Data transfer via snail is faster than ADSL and pigeons Link (Thanks, Carlo Longino!)


  1. Hate to split hairs, but is seems to me that the snails are merely delaying the delivery of a message, rather than actually carrying it, like the snails in the Yossi Vardi story.
    Of course, since I have a reputation as a punster, I must point out that you could do the same thing with a shell script.
    More snails with messages:

  2. A french snail walks into a very fancy car shop.
    The car salesmen approaches the Gentlesnail.

    Salesman – “Could I help you Sir?”

    Snail – “Yes, I am looking for a nice sports car, something zippy, somethink elegent, something French!”

    Salesman – “Ahh I believe I have the perfect car, it’s a nice pearl blue number, very fast, very powerful. Extremely elegent and of course French”

    Snail – “Ahh, can I see it”

    Salesman – “why of course”

    The Snail and Salesman head into a seperate room. Clearly reserved for the finest automobiles. They approach a beautiful Convertible Sportscar.

    Snail – “It’s beautiful. I’ll take it! But I need you to do a custom paint job.”

    Salesman – “Of course, that can be arranged very easily. What do want done?”

    Snail – “I would like twin racing strips, flat white no gloss and I would like a nice shiny Red S as big as the bonet allows!”

    Salesman – “This will be easy. Do you mind if I ask why you would like an S?”

    Snail – “When I drive past people. I want them to stop and stair. I want them to say look at that Escargot!”

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