In a world where the production of information of any kind now reaches alarming volumes – the quantity of content published every day on Twitter is estimated to 500 million, that is 5 787 per second – submerging our cognitive capacities, creating a stressful feeling of urgency and a never reached level of pollution, the project of Scottish artist Katie Paterson seems like a breath of fresh air.
Started in 2014, the Future Library aims to be a literature anthology written by approximately one hundred contemporary writers, of all ages and nationalities, and published in exactly one century. To do so, the artist has already had a thousand Norwegian spruce trees planted in Nordmaska, a protected area North of Oslo, since then known under the very Borgesian name of the Forest of the Future Library. These trees will be used to print the books that will only be available for reading in 2114.
In the meantime, four international writers have already been selected: the Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, the English novelist David Mitchell, the Icelandic poet and short stories author Sjòn. The last to date, the Turkish Elif Shafak, a popular novelist and non-fiction author, is currently working on and will hand over her manuscript on Saturday June 2, 2018, during a ceremony in Oslo. It is in the building of the Deichmanske Public Library that will open in 2019 in Bjorvika, in the outskirts of Oslo, that the works are sealed for this exceptional artistic project. To meditate when you write your next tweet whose life span is estimated to 3 hours.
Translation by Anne-Sophie Lecharme