Austin-based artist “EZ” taught himself to paint by creating Zelda fan art. He decided to start building Hyrulean treasure chests to stash around the city, filled with goodies of his own making, as a sort of interactive street art. He hid his first treasure cache in February of 2013, with a few perler sprites and a little bag full of swords. Also inside was a note with his email address, so that whoever stumbled across the box could contact him and let him know that it’d been “raided.”
What he was surprised to discover was that once the treasure chest had been emptied, other people had begun to fill it with gift cards, lottery tickets, and other “rewards.” Since then he has created and hidden two other boxes, and plans to do more, especially now that his project has gained notice on Reddit.
It would be really cool if people keep it going forward and take something and leave something. Once it’s out there, it’s out of my hands, and it’s up to the culture of people who are out there to decide how it works.
EZ stashes the treasure chests without warning, and with no publicly-posted clues as to where he left them. They could be anywhere around Austin, more than likely in parks like the Barton Creek Greenbelt. You can send an email to email@example.com to receive hints about where the next one is hidden, or follow along with the project on Tumblr. He hopes to create treasure maps and a multi-part hunt for those in the area that are serious about participating.
It’s a very cool idea and even better to think that in its first weeks, people found it, made a note of its location, and then went back with new treasures to stash to replace the ones they took. It makes me want to start my own project, except that it’s currently colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra, so I don’t exactly want to go traipsing around Ohio’s Metroparks with a crate full of Zelda tchotchkes.