Katie Paterson’s Future Library: Margaret Atwood hands over her new manuscript

Katie Paterson’s Future Library: Margaret Atwood hands over her new manuscript

Agency for Cultural Affairs, City of Oslo

Katie Paterson, Future Library, 2014–2114. Commissioned by Bjorvika Utvikling. Photo: Katie Paterson.

May 22, 2015

Katie Paterson
Future Library

26 May 2015

Future Library Forest
Meet Frognerseteren station, Nordmarka
Hours: 9.30–11.30h

Deichmanske Library
Arne Garborgs plass 4
0179 Oslo
Hours: 13.15–14h


Future Library, Katie Paterson
Margaret Atwood hands over her new manuscript

The prizewinning author, poet, essayist and literary critic Margaret Atwood (Canada) is the first writer to contribute to Future Library, a major public artwork by Scottish artist Katie Paterson that will unfold over the next 100 years in the city of Oslo, Norway. Margaret Atwood will hand over the inaugural manuscript for Future Library on Tuesday 26 May, in a special ceremony open to all. 

A thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, a forest just outside Oslo, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in 100 years’ time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114. Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hope of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future.

Commenting on being selected as the inaugural writer of this 100-year project, Margaret Atwood said: “I am very honoured, and also happy to be part of this endeavor. This project, at least, believes the human race will still be around in a hundred years! Future Library is bound to attract a lot of attention over the decades, as people follow the progress of the trees, note what takes up residence in and around them, and try to guess what the writers have put into their sealed boxes.”

Margaret Atwood’s contribution to the project will be celebrated in a special two-part event on May 26: a public walk through the Future Library Forest in Oslo and an in-conversation with the artist Katie Paterson held in the Deichmanske Library. 

“How strange it is to think of my own voice—silent by then for a long time—suddenly being awakened, after a hundred years. What is the first thing that voice will say, as a not-yet-embodied hand draws it out of its container and opens it to the first page?” 
–Margaret Atwood

Future Library Forest
Margaret Atwood will hand over the inaugural manuscript for Future Library, and participate in a public walk through the forest, where she will give a reading. Meet at Frognerseteren station, Nordmarka at 9.30h. The walk will take approximately 30 minutes in each direction, and the group will return to the station at 11.30h. The Future Library forest coordinates are 59°59’10.0” N10°41’48.6”E

Download the map here. Please dress for a walk in the woods, and bring a cup with you and something to sit on. Coffee and tea will be served.

Deichmanske Library
An in-conversation event with Margaret Atwood and Katie Paterson will be held in the Deichmanske Library, Oslo at 13.15h. Both events are open to all, and free of charge.

Conceived by Katie Paterson, Future Library is commissioned and produced by Bjørvika Utvikling, originally curated by Situations, and managed by the Future Library Trust. Supported by the City of Oslo, Agency for Cultural Affairs and Agency for Urban Environment.

For further information, please contact: 
Anne Beate Hovind, Project Director, Bjørvika Utvikling
T +47 (0) 909 42528 / anne.beate.hovind [​at​] bjorvikautvikling.no

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Agency for Cultural Affairs, City of Oslo
May 22, 2015

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