Berlin based artist Katie Paterson’s new project Future Library is a 100-year long adventure into the realms of publishing, longevity and trust. The idea is relatively simple, for one hundred years a writer will contribute a text which will stay secret until 2114. Visitors to a purpose built room within Oslo’s New Public Deichmanske Library will be able to see the author’s manuscripts, read the authors names and the titles but never the full text, a test of both patience and trust.
In an area of the Nordmarka Forest outside of Olso, one thousand trees were planted which will grow to supply the paper on which the books will printed onto. Every year from 2014 to 2114 a writer will be commissioned to contribute a new text. An eight-person trust will guide the project into the future.
Paterson has previously worked with specialists from a range of fields including astronomy and nanotechnology to create works that are poetic and philosophical. Her work deals with both the tangible and intangible objects that have existed for longer than mankind, making us consider our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change. Previous projects have included a map of all of the dead stars in the universe, a broadcast of a melting glacier live to a visitor on a mobile phone in an art gallery and a custom-made light bulb to simulate moonlight.