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You may be proud of yourself for being able to camp, even build a fire, perhaps even read a compass. But all your merit patches probably wouldn’t amount to much if, say, you found yourself needing to restart civilization from scratch.
During the summer of 2009, artist Jamie O’Shea of the organization Substitute Materials set out to test whether or not electronic communication could have been built at any time in history with the proper knowledge, and with only tools and materials found in the wilderness of New Jersey.
Using the techniques learned during the project, called “Immaculate Telegraphy,” an entire telegraphic network could have been constructed in the Stone Age. Motherboard producer Kelly Loudenberg joined O’Shea as he sought to bring this miraculous, insane, and wonderful technology to life.
It’s the ultimate salvagepunk experiment, a DIY exploration of what makes innovation possible, and an attempt to prove that the future could happen at any time (even if the world isn’t always ready for it).