The renowned Icelandic poet Sjón has submitted his manuscript to the Future Library in Norway which his contemporaries are not likely to ever read. This way, he has joined Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell in creating Katie Paterson’s art installation. They are only three out of 100 authors to be locked away in Norway until the year 2114 when Paterson’s collection of 100 texts is to be published.
Namely, 1,000 Norwegian spruces have been planted in the middle of Oslo’s Nordmarka forest. This is to secure that the texts will be printed on paper in 2114, regardless of what type of book - digital or something completely different - that people may be using in the 22nd century.
As new manuscript comes in each year, they are all locked up in a specially designed room at the new Oslo Public Library, which has yet to be opened, awaiting for the official release in 2114. Meanwhile, the trees are growing into an anthology of books.
Certificates entitling the holder to the full anthology in 2114 are being sold by the artist through the Ingleby Gallery. They were initially sold for EUR 700, with the price increasing to EUR900 in 2017.
Umberto Eco once said that a book is like a wheel, a form that can never be improved upon. But as technologies are advancing fast, we do not even know whether there will even be printing machines in 2114. Therefore, this project aims to keep the book alive as long as possible.
"Future Library" is just the latest in a series of initiatives in Norway celebrating "slow life". These include Slow TV, Doomsday seed storage vault in Svalbard and others.