Real Snail Mail turns email into slower email

Real Snail Mail

The “Real Snail Mail” project by Paul Smith and Vicky Isley (of the art sna design team, Boredom Research in the UK) is an attempt to create a metaphoric truth of what is commonly called “snail mail” by imparting the act of carrying a digital message onto the back of an actual snail. By attaching a small antenna and electronic circuit to their shells, the snails can be assigned messages that they can then transport to the receiver. To leave a message, simply type it in from your browser, click send, and the snail server accepts it and puts it into a queue of messages that the snails can then collect. Once written to the chip on the snail’s shell, the snail then moves itself to the “drop off point” where the message is collected and forward to its recipient. The artists have even put a “disclaimer” on the site that states: “For testing purposes some messages may be forwarded sooner than expected. Sorry we cannot guarantee unreliability of service at this time. We hope to have “Real Snail Mail” working less predictably as soon as possible.” This ironic twist will ensure that your mail will in fact never reach it’s final destination.

Jonah Brucker-Cohen