The plan for “Future Library” is this: Oslo has given Paterson a plot of land in a forest outside a city called Normarka. There, she and her team have planted 1,000 trees, which will grow for the next 100 years. In the meantime, Paterson and a group called the Future Library Trust, which rotates every 10 years and currently consists of publishers, editors, and others (including Ion Trewin, literary director of the Man Booker Prize), will select an author a year to write a text of any kind for “Future Library.” The texts will be held as manuscripts in a special room in the Oslo New Library; Paterson is designing and building that room from the trees that were cut down to make way for the “Future Library” forest. People will be able to visit and see author names and text titles, but none of the manuscripts will be available for reading — until 2114, when the “Future Library” trees will be cut down and turned into paper on which the manuscripts will be printed and published.
That may sound like a conceptual and logistical thicket, but it’s fairly in keeping with, if more elaborate than, Paterson’s past artistic endeavors — which include shipping a fragment of the moon commercially around the globe and chiseling a grain of sand from the Sahara Desert down to 0.00005mm before reburying it there