Future Library

Katie Paterson

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Scottish artist Katie Paterson has launched a 100-year artwork - Future Library - Framtidsbiblioteket - for the city of Oslo in Norway. The prizewinning author, poet, essayist and literary critic Margaret Atwood has been named as the first writer to contribute to the project.

A thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, a forest just outside Oslo, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in one hundred years time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114. 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.

Margaret Atwood comments on being the inaugural writer for Future Library: “I am very honoured, and also happy to be part of this endeavor. This project, at least, believes the human race will still be around in a hundred years! Future Library is bound to attract a lot of attention over the decades, as people follow the progress of the trees, note what takes up residence in and around them, and try to guess what the writers have put into their sealed boxes.”

A ceremony in 2015 will mark the handover of Margaret Atwood’s manuscript.

The manuscripts will be held in trust in a specially designed room in the New Deichmanske Public Library opening in 2018 in Bjørvika, Oslo. Intended to be a space of contemplation, this room - designed by the artist - will be lined with wood from the forest. The authors’ names and titles of their works will be on display, but none of the manuscripts will be available for reading – until their publication in one century’s time. The library room design is in collaboration with Lund Hagem Architects and Atelier Oslo.

Support for this 100-year long artwork has been given by the City of Oslo, who are working with the artist and Future Library Trust to ensure the protection of the forest and manuscripts until 2114.

Guiding the selection of authors is the Future Library Trust, whose trustees include the artist, Literary Director of the Man Booker Prize Ion Trewin, Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton Simon Prosser, former Director of the Deichmanske Bibliotek Liv Sæteren, Publishing Director of Forlaget Press Håkon Harket, Editor in Chief of Oktober Press, Ingeri Engelstad, and Anne Beate Hovind, Bjørvika Utvikling's Project Manager for the Slow Space Programme.

Katie Paterson's 100-year-long project is one of four public artworks produced for Slow Space a programme of public artworks for Bjørvika Oslo's former container port, and commissioned by Bjørvika Utvikling. For Anne Beate Hovind, Bjørvika Utvikling’s, Project manager, “Future Library is beyond what we could ever imagine or hope for. The longevity of this artwork will make it resonate with the people of Oslo for the next 100 years and it holds a treasure for future generations to enjoy.”

Conceived by Katie Paterson, Future Library is commissioned and supported by Bjørvika Utvikling, produced by UK-based Situations, and managed by the Future Library Trust. Supported by the City of Oslo, Agency for Cultural Affairs and Agency for Urban Environment.

Katie Paterson has created a limited edition artwork - a certificate that entitles the owner to one complete set of the texts printed on the paper made from the trees after they are fully grown and cut down in 2114. Please contact the artist's galleries in the UK (Ingleby Gallery, Parafin) or the USA (James Cohan Gallery).

Press release
Watch a short film with Margaret Atwood


Press contact: Anne Beate Hovind, Project Director, Bjørvika Utvikling
+47(0)909 42528, anne.beate.hovind@bjorvikautvikling.no

Artforum, Katie Paterson and Margaret Atwood, Lars Bang Larsen, November 2014
Die Presse, Literatur mit langen Atem, Daniel Kalt, October 2014
BBC Mundo, 100 libros que nunca vas a poder leer, Laura Plitt, 15 September 2014
NPR Books, In Margaret Atwood's Latest, The Past Is Powerfully Present, 13 September 2014
il Post, La biblioteca del futuro, 7 September 2014
Die Welt, In diesem Wald wächst die Literatur des Jahres 2114, Wieland Freund, 7 September 2014
The Huffington Post Canada, Margaret Atwood's Future Library Work Won't Be Read For 100 Years, 7 September 2014
Scotland on Sunday, Book may not be a best seller - not for 100 years, Stephen McGinty, 7 September 2014
BBC World Service News Hour (at 39m30s), Lyse Doucet, 6 September 2014
Aftenposten, Disse bøkene får du aldri lese, Kjersti Nipen, 5 September 2014
Watch film Louisiana Channel, Paterson & Atwood Future Library, 5 September 2014
Art Slant, The Margaret Atwood Book You'll Never Get to Read, Andrea Alessi, 5 September 2014
The Globe and Mail, Margaret Atwood’s next project is due in the 22nd century, 5 September 2014
Margaret Atwood's new work will remain unseen for a century, The Guardian, Alison Flood, 5 September 2014
Hundreårsskogen, Dagens Næringsliv, Kristiane Larssen, 4 September 2014
Bøker er som flaskepost, Bergensavisen, 5 September 2014
ANMELDELSE: Fremtidens lesere, Fine Art, Kjetil Røed
Art project plants 1,000 trees for books 100 years from now, CBC Books, 11 August 2014
The Fifth Season, The New York Times, Holland Cotter, 7 August 2014
100-Year Art Project to Grow Books from Saplings, Make, Andrew Salomone, 7 August 2014
Future Library - a forest that will become books 100 years from now, Christian Science Monitor, Weston Williams, 7 August 2014
Artist's 100-Year Project Will Grow Books from Saplings, Hyperalleric, Jillian Steinhauer, 6 August 2014
Katie Paterson, In the Studio, The Independent, Karen Wright, Thursday 31 July 2014
The Turner-tipped artist who's out of this world, The Times, Mike Wade, 26 June 2014
Future Library, The Paris Review, Dan Piepenbring, 26 June 2014
Om hundre år kommer alt for en dag, Kunstkritikk, Mariann Enge, 23 June 2014
Tålmodighetens kunst, Dagsavisen, Espen Hågensen Rusdal, 20 June 2014
Katie Paterson Takes the Very Long View, Blouin ArtInfo, Scott Indrisek, 19 June 2014
Huffington Post (Japanese edition), June 2014
Listen to an in-coversation event with Katie Paterson and Ion Trewin, Chair of the Booker Prize, June 2014

Press release

Press contact: Anne Beate Hovind, Project Director, Bjørvika Utvikling
+47(0)909 42528, anne.beate.hovind@bjorvikautvikling.no

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