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The Future Library Project Collects Works That Won’t Be Released For a Century

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Scottish artist Katie Paterson is building a literary time capsule. She is the creator of the Future Library Project, which will collect a new work from a great contemporary writer each year for the next century. All of the novels, stories, and poems will remain unread and unseen for the next 100 years, until they are all simultaneously published in 2114.

The special anthology will eventually be printed on paper made from 1000 trees planted in 2014 in Nordmarka, a forest outside Oslo, which members of the Future Library Project will tend to over the next century. The library is simultaneously a gift for future generations and a living art project which will connect a century of literary growth with the growth of the Nordmarka saplings.

According to the Future Library website, “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 hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future.”

So far, two authors have contributed to the Future Library Project. Last year, legendary author Margaret Atwood donated a novel called Scribbler Moon. And now, The Guardian reports, novelist David Mitchell has submitted a novel entitled From Me Flows What You Call Time. Mitchell, whose previous books include Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, is known for works that explore the passage of time, and life in strange and uncertain futures. On May 28, he visited the Nordmarka forest, where he handed over his Future Library novel.

Though fans of Mitchell, Atwood, and other future contributors may find the idea of being unable to read these works frustrating, Mitchell says he sees the Future Library Project as a symbol of hope for the future. “It’s a little glimmer of hope in a season of highly depressing news cycles, that affirms we are in with a chance of civilization in 100 years,” he told The Guardian. “Everything is telling us that we’re doomed, but the Future Library is a candidate on the ballot paper for possible futures. It brings hope that we are more resilient than we think: that we will be here, that there will be trees, that there will be books, and readers, and civilization.”

Watch Mitchell discuss the Future Library Project in greater depth below.

[h/t The Guardian]

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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