24 Hours in Cyberspace
February 8, 1996
Painting on the Walls of the Digital Cave
by Rick Smolan
"The photographs capture the awesome power that one human being can have on another through the mere act of communication". Rick Smolan
"On February 8, 1996, cyberspace was frozen in time, and for decades to come, our children and our children's children will look with wonder at this photographic record of an ordinary day when millions of people around the planet took the time to paint their own names on the walls of the digital cave." From the Introduction of the Digital Time Capsule
To record how the online world is changing our lives, on Thursday, February 8, 1996 Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt sent 150 photographers all over the world. Kodak provided 9,000 rolls of film, photo CD scanners, and its new DC-50 digital cameras.
Armed with both digital and conventional film cameras, the photographers developed, edited, scanned and transmitted some of their pictures that day to Mission Control in San Francisco, California. There, a support staff of 160 picture editors, writers, designers and programmers designed a sophisticated World Wide Web site in real time.
Smolan and his team used the Web to document the Web, inviting the whole world to upload their stories, photos, and signatures to create a snapshot of cyberspace. In effect, the project used the Internet to document the Internet and then published the results on the Internet.