Future Library is a public artwork by artist Katie Paterson, which will unfold over the next 100 years in the city of Oslo, Norway. Future Library was commissioned as part of the public art programme, Slow Space, for Bjørvika by Situations.
“A vote of confidence, that despite the catastrophic shadows under which we live, the future will still be a brightish place willing and able to complete an artistic endeavour begun by long-dead people a century ago.” Margaret Atwood
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. Every year from 2014 to 2114, a writer will be commissioned to contribute a new text to a growing collection of unpublished, unread manuscripts held in trust in a specially designed room in the new Deichmanske Public Library in Bjørvika until their publication in 2114.
This film was commissioned for the latest NOW exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
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.
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.