Friday, July 13, 2007


Please find below a list of our most popular questions. If the info you are after is not there then feel free to drop us an email and we'll try to answer it for you.

How many boxes are there?

Where have they been posted?
To 54 strangers in 20 different countries around the world. The strangers were chosen at random over the course of a year, some were found by random searches on the internet. Some were people who's addressess we saw while on holiday, some were collected from a mailing list gone mad and other such sourcres. Where possible we tried to contact people ahead of schedule so they knew to expect the boxes but the delay from then til posting will hopefully have made it still a surprise

Why was there a delay to posting?
We had initally planned on releasing the boxes in May 2005 but our original box supplier was very naughty and failed to deliver the boxes despite having been paid. Many, many months later we got our money back and discovered makers of wonderful box type things. They helped us get things back on track.

Why can't folk just google you on the net and post the boxes back directly?
If people did that then it wouldn't test the theory. It's not just about "Can we get 54 boxes sent back to us." Its about the journey's the boxes take to get back, specifically to test the idea that any human on the planet can be connected to any other by simple chain of connected friends.

As dez O'Conner used to say, what's in the box?
Well the lucky recipient of a box will find inside the following:
Some instructions - to explain the project
A guest book - please leave a message for the next person
A Small World Badge - please keep one as a souvenier
A set of Postcards - please complete one and return
Some interesting Objects - If you wish to add an object, please do.

Where did the inspiration come from?
The idea for our experiment was influenced by a chapter in the novel "Life: A User's Manual" by Georges Perec.

In it a rich eccentric man decides to spend 10 years learning to paint, then him and his butler set out on a round the world trip, spending the next twenty years painting a watercolour at the rate of one every two weeks. Each painting is posted to a jigsaw maker who sets the painting onto wood and then constructs a tightly crafted jigsaw from it.

At the end of his round the world journey Bartlebooth begins completing the jigsaws at a rate of one every two weeks. As he completes a jigsaw it is re-gummed and then dipped into paint stripper. At the end of another 20 years all he is left with is a pile of crisp, white, blank sheers of paper.

There is something poetically beautiful about this achievement with no point and we tried to carry this project out in the same carefree spirit.



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