As most things I find out about, a friend I play volleyball with shared this brilliant project with me, knowing that I would find value in it. He was not wrong! I was kicking myself for not knowing about this sooner! Enter the Future Library!
The Future Library project is a public artwork that aims to collect an original work by a popular writer every year from 2014 to 2114 and to share them with the world only then.
In a New York Times article, we learn more about this project from artist Katie Paterson who is collecting 100 unpublished works from notable authors in our lifetime. To me, it is not that we are missing out on great literature from renowned authors, but that they are preserving what world we are currently living in – going beyond a historical nonfiction, but a creative depiction of what is being experienced and values presented. A time capsule of sorts from 100 of the greatest minds who are painting a picture of the present time.
(t)he books of the Future Library were never meant to be read, certainly not in our lifetime, but not even in the future. They are meant to be worshiped, to be desired — a desire that draws all its strength from the impossibility of reading or reproducing them
I am still reflecting on this notion but overall it is a feeling of beauty and amazement. Mentioned in the article, Margaret Atwood states that we make a lot of assumptions, most of which that we as humans will be around in 100 years or that the forest for which the books will be printed on in 2114 will be present. It is all up in the air! For someone who loves predictability and structure, the ambiguity of this project is slightly unnerving but also exciting! There are several question marks and unknowns that most of us alive now will never have answered.
What are your thoughts on the Future Library?