A new public artwork by Scottish artist Katie Paterson will unfold over the next 100 years in the city of Oslo. Every year from 2014 to 2114, a writer will be commissioned to contribute a new text to a growing collection of unpublished, unread manuscripts held in trust in a specially designed room in the New Deichmanske Public Library in Bjørvika until their publication in 2114.
On Saturday 28 May, the Embassy was represented at the David Mitchell handover ceremony in the Future Library Forest in Oslo. His contribution to the project was celebrated with a public walk through the Future Library Forest and an in-conversation with the artist Katie Paterson in the Deichmanske Library. At the handover ceremony he explained some thoughts about his contribution:
“Late in 2014 I received an email from a British editor friend. It was about an art project called Future Library, the brainchild of Scottish artist Katie Paterson, and it contained a unique proposal. The deal would be that I write something – poem, story, full-length novel if I wanted – and hand over a hard-copy in May 2016. I could neither discuss nor show anybody what I’d written. What I wrote would be stored in the city Library in Oslo, along with manuscripts given by one writer a year until 2114 when the entire collection will printed on paper made from a plantation of Norwegian spruces planted in 2014. Margaret Atwood had gone first; would I like to be the 2015 writer?”