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“Everyone in the trust is desperate to read the texts, but none of the current members will get to,” says Paterson.
“We’ve all signed non-disclosure documents, but it is tempting to look – especially since 100 years feels vast, but also very close.
If you want to read it, though, you’re out of luck.
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In 2114, a forest of 1,000 Norwegian spruce, birch and pine trees that was planted on the outskirts of Oslo in May this year will be cut down and pulped, the paper used to create 3,000 copies of an anthology containing all 100 texts.
It might sound like the elaborate scheme of a sadistic English lit major – commissioning some of the world’s best authors to write books that can’t be read in our lifetime – but it’s all part of Future Library, an ambitious artwork by Scottish-born, Berlin-based artist Katie Paterson.
“I couldn’t stop screaming when I saw her letter saying yes,” says Hovind.
It’s unlikely that anyone alive today – including, of course, Paterson and Hovind – will live to see the conclusion of the project.
“The idea for Future Library came a few years ago,” says Paterson.