Like many, I have several boxes full of old magazines that define different periods of my young life: MAD, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Vice (definitely a sensical progression there). Some of these physical copies feel timeless from cover to cover—like certain issues of Vice and my growing stack of Apology—but those mags often leant on the literary side where time-sensitive news or stale pop culture references weren't a threat.
Today, however, Dodo Magazine, released its second issue through a relatively-interesting format: half the issue is available to purchase physically, and the second half is getting buried in a time capsule and won't be unearthed until 2024 when it will then be sent to all who subscribed this year. They will also be mailed a letter they wrote to themselves at the time of subscription. The publication claims to be the first to create a time capsule magazine.
Though it sounds gimmicky on the surface, Dodo might be on to something interesting here. Based on a glance through its first issue, this mag is neither literary nor newsy. It's not particularly art-minded or even thought-provoking, and I don't think it wants to be. It's just fun. With articles like "Adventure Bazar," a brainstorm of rather-silly survival gear such as digital portable microscopes, and "Improve Your Day," a series of self-improvement tips (my favorite: Always talk to cats), the publication is like a fantasy/adventure collection for immature-but-likable adults.
Therefore, Dodo might be trying to create a cultural object that captures a childlike sense of wonder and dedication to play that will never quite have a timestamp or concern with relevancy. It may never be anachronistic, especially since it doesn't seem to promote any dialogue about what will the state of print magazines be like in 2024? It doesn't look like it has a conceptual agenda. In other words, it might be the perfect magazine to buy for your adolescent kid now so he or she can get the second half of the issue in ten years.
Or maybe it's just a silly marketing campaign. After all, there was only one copy printed for "Issue Zero" of the magazine. In order to find it, there was a map that supposedly led to a treasure chest buried underground containing the only physical issue (though the digital version was also posted for free online).
Ultimately, I haven't read issue two of Dodo and might be totally offbase here. I just know my favorite magazines are the ones that don't need to have any dates or years written inside, as they will be just as engaging in 2024 as they are in 2014. Watch the trailer for Dodo Magazine's time capsule project below:
For more on Dodo see its website http://www.dodomagazine.com/