Katie Paterson, Future Library
Public Commission
2014 - 2114
image 3
image 4
image 5
image 6
Go to link

Future Library is a new 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.


As Katie Paterson prepares the forest, she is selecting authors along with an editorial panel including the Booker Prize’s Ion Trewin and former Director of Oslo City Library Liv Sæteren. Every year from 2014 to 2114, a writer will be commissioned to contribute a new text to a growing collection of unpublished, unread manuscripts held in trust in a specially designed room in the new Deichmanske Public Library in Bjørvika until their publication in 2114.


The first writer to contribute a text for Future Library will be announced in September 2014, with the handover of the first manuscript marked by a special event a year later.


Katie Paterson has also 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 will be on view in New York as part of the group exhibition The Fifth Season at James Cohan Gallery (June 24 – August 8, 2014).


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 program of public art projects produced by Situations and commissioned by developer Bjørvika Utvikling.


About Future Library


Conceived by Katie Paterson, Future Library is produced by Situations, commissioned by Bjørvika Utvikling and managed by the Future Library Trust. The project is supported by the City of Oslo, Department of Cultural Affairs and Business and the Department for Environmental Affairs.


Guiding the selection of authors is the Future Library Trust, whose trustees include artist, Katie Paterson; Literary Director of the Man Booker Prize, Ion Trewin; 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; Director of Situations, Claire Doherty and Bjørvika Utvikling’s Project Manager for the Slow Space Program, Anne Beate Hovind.