Future Library is a public artwork by Scottish artist Katie Paterson, which will unfold over the next 100 years in the city of Oslo, Norway.
A thousand trees have been planted in Normarka, a forest just outside Oslo. It will be 100 years before the trees are cut down to provide the paper for an anthology of books – a Future Library for the city of Oslo – read for the first time in 2114.
Margaret Atwood was the first author to contribute to Future Library, gifting her text to the project in May 2015, to remain unread for 100 years. The multi-award winning British novelist David Mitchell follows as 2015’s author, who presented his text ‘From Me What Flows You Call Time‘ in 2016.
Every year from 2014 to 2114, a writer will be commissioned to contribute a new text to a growing collection of unpublished, unread manuscripts held in trust in a specially designed room in the new Deichmanske Public Library in Bjøorvika until their publication in 2114.
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. It was on view as part of her first solo exhibition in Scotland at Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh in 2014, as part of GENERATION, a celebration of the best contemporary art in Scotland over the last 25 years.
About Katie Paterson
Known for works which make use of sophisticated technologies and specialist expertise to stage intimate, poetic and philosophical engagements between people and their natural environment, Paterson has envisaged this work in response to the development of Oslo’s transformed former container port, as part of Slow Space, a programme of public art projects produced by Situations and commissioned by developer Bjørvika Utvikling.
About Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood (b. 1939, Canada) is the author of more than 40 volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction and non-fiction. Her work has been published in more than 40 languages, and she is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction and the Canadian Booksellers’ Lifetime Achievement Award. A fervent environmentalist and political activist, Atwood has over 500,000 followers on Twitter. Her works explore the existential problems of modern man with satire and humour, often with a starting point in a speculative universe. Her recent novel, MaddAddam, concludes her dystopian trilogy that follows the fate of mankind through an uncertain future. Her latest work is a book of short stories called Stone Mattress.
About David Mitchell
Born in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Worcestershire. Mitchell’s work has gathered acclaim with the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and included on shortlists for the Guardian First Book Award, Booker Prize, and Man Booker Prize. In 2003 he was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. His novels include, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. His latest novel is The Bone Clocks. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children. davidmitchellbooks.com
About Future Library
Conceived by Katie Paterson, Future Library is commissioned and produced by Bjørvika Utvikling, originally curated by Situations, and is managed by the Future Library Trust. The room in the Deichman Library is designed by the artist and architects Lund Hagem and Atelier Oslo. Supported by the City of Oslo, Agency for Cultural Affairs and Agency for Urban Environment.
Guiding the selection of authors is the Future Library Trust, whose trustees include artist, Katie Paterson; 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 Bjørvika Utvikling’s Project Manager for the Slow Space Programme, Anne Beate Hovind.