As we trudge closer to living in a totally paperless society, the idea of reading a book printed on paper made from trees is becoming more and more of a novelty. So, imagine what a revelation it might be to read a book printed on actual paper 100 years from now? That seems to be the premise of Future Library, an extraordinary new project taking place in Norway by artist Katie Paterson.
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 Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114.
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Aside from the ecological beauty of an art project that ensures the preservation a forest for an entire century, it seems to me that the real strength of this work is that it gives us the opportunity to think about how this work will evolve over time and what people will think of those texts 100 years from now. It’s amazing when art makes us wonder like that.