Last year, the Scottish artist Katie Paterson launched an exceptional book art project. Called “Future Library” it will run exactly 100 years.
In a newly released video, the artist explains the idea of the project. A thousand trees have been planted in a forest near Oslo, Norway. These trees will supply paper for a series of books that will be published in 2114.
Every year one author will be commissioned to contribute her or his text to the library of unread and unpublished manuscripts. These writings will be held in trust in a special room in the New Public Deichmanske Library in Oslo.
Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future.
The first donor to the library was Margaret Atwood. Her text is called “Scribbler Moon”. The writer contributing in 2015 is an English novelist David Mitchell, the author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks. Explaining why he got enthusiastic about the project, he said:
Imagine if the Future Library had been conceived in 1914, and a hundred authors from all over the world had written a hundred volumes between 1915 and today, unseen until now – what a human highway through time to be a part of. Contributing and belonging to a narrative arc longer than your own lifespan is good for your soul.
The 100-year book project was launched for the City of Oslo. It’s commissioned by Bjørvika Utvikling, and produced by Situations.
Katie Paterson creates poetic and conceptual projects focused on highlighting our place on Earth in the context of time and change. She is collaborating with scientists and researchers across the world and makes use of the most sophisticated technologies available at the moment.
There is one thing, a calming thought behind this project: no matter where and how far ebooks will evolve, print books will be there, no doubt about it.
Make sure to visit the official website of Future Library to read more details.
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