A Message From Earth

A contemporary collage of the human condition.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Golden Record project, WeTransfer partnered with Stink Studios and an assembly of content creators to present “A Message from Earth”—an interactive site of specially-commissioned music, film, art, and literature paying tribute to the ambitious, optimistic spirit of the original.

Alongside WeTransfer, we developed briefs for each chapter and guided content creation for a wide range of artists and contributors, including: Sophy Hollington, Dr. Wanda Diaz Merced, Gilles Peterson, S U R V I V E , Deepak Chopra, and more.

Contributors were invited to collaborate based on individual expertise and, in laying the design framework, we made sure to highlight their work through animation and interaction. Particularly, the ‘Starchat’ and ‘Soundbox’ interactive modules allowed users to have two-way conversations with different stars and to create otherworldly soundscapes of their own. For the ‘Soundbox’ and ‘Starchat’ modules, we relied heavily on the Web Audio API – a native Javascript interface – to control audio in real time. Although infrequently used, the Web Audio API allows for fine-grained control over low-level sounds created in response to user-driven interactions. By offsetting audio processing onto the client side, we offer the user a nearly instantaneous auditory experience, all from within browser.

The website is driven mostly by the front end, but our back end infrastructure exists to support the storage and retrieval of user-generated content. We decided on a serverless methodology and, in doing this, we minimized worries around auto scalability and an overly complicated back end, while dramatically reducing operational costs.

Lastly, we incorporated content from the experience to create WeTransfer backgrounds and social assets driving awareness and traffic to the site. Additionally, onsite visitors are invited to support three organizations by contributing $15 or more to further their explorations at home and in the great beyond: The Carl Sagan Institute, SETI, and Astronomers Without Borders. In return, donors will receive a limited-run print edition celebrating content from the site experience.

  • FWA of the Day
  • Advertising, Media & PR – Best Branded Editorial Experience
  • Graphite Pencil Digital Design
  • Bronze Cube: Interactive