As a society, we’re so focused on the short term. But is this wrecking the environment? Do we need to think more long term? If so, how?
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Collaborating with scientists and researchers across the world, Katie Paterson creates projects that consider our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change. Her artworks make use of sophisticated technologies and specialist expertise to stage intimate, poetic, and philosophical engagements between people and their natural environment. Join the artist as she creates a unique sonic journey. We will move from calling a glacier in Iceland to listening to the split-second tone of a star dying in the distant universe to hearing the full recital of a musical score she transmitted to the moon. Paterson will also explore artworks that involve silence, and those that exist entirely in the imagination. Introduced by Katherine Bussard, Peter C. Bunnell Curator of Photography.
Visual artist Katie Paterson tells Nicola Meighan about her exhibition Requiem – the story of the birth & life of our planet
Conceptual artist Katie Paterson on art which produces candles scented with planetary odours – one of Saturn’s moons has a hint of cherry…and how she and co-exhibitor the Romantic painter JMW Turner share an interest in the precise nature of moon light.
Artist Katie Paterson is busy right now with work showing at The Lowry and Somerset House, and a new public artwork called Hollow, made from 10,000 tree samples from across the world, about to be unveiled at the University of Bristol. She discusses her fascination with capturing time, distance, and space.
Artist Katie Paterson on her ambitious project to send a meteorite back into space.
A forest has been planted in Norway with a specific purpose, to supply paper for a library of books to be printed in 100 years’ time. One writer every year – starting in 2014 with Margaret Atwood – is contributing a text to be held in trust, unread until the year 2114, when the Future Library will be published. Elif Shafak has just submitted her piece, handing over her manuscript in a ceremony in the young forest. Katie Paterson, the artist whose idea this is, explains her vision.
Scottish artist Katie Paterson’s exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate, explores our relationship with the vastness and mysteries of the universe, as she works with scientists who have pioneered research on the cosmic spectrum. The artist discusses her fascination with the physical world.
Katie Paterson is one of the leading artists of her generation. Much of her work explores our place on earth in relation to geological or even cosmic time. As the pandemic brought many aspects of our lives to a halt, and caused various projects and exhibitions to be cancelled or delayed, she’s been exploring how this break in life’s continuum is affecting artistic creativity. Based outside Edinburgh and with family, staff and studios to support, there was the pragmatic issue of dealing with shrinking finances. But also, with this involuntary pause, a pent-up force of new ideas was released. She’s back in her studio creating an urn made up of collected layers of matter from the dawn of time up until today and is currently deciding which layer should represent the pandemic. She’s also creating incense from the first and the last forest on earth. Comparing notes with other artists – including Edmund de Waal, who’s had his most creative year ever, and Peter Liversidge, who saw a gallery that he’d been preparing an exhibition for close – she reflects on the artistic shock waves of the pandemic and its unexpected consequences.
Short-sightedness may be the greatest threat to humanity, says conceptual artist Katie Paterson, whose work engages with deep time – an idea that describes the history of the Earth over a time span of millions of years. In this lively talk, she takes us through her art – a telephone line connected to a melting glacier, maps of dying stars – and presents her latest project: the Future Library, a forested room holding unread manuscripts from famous authors, not to be published or read until the year 2114.
Scottish artist Katie Paterson offers us back the universe, with the help of experts in science and technology. She famously used a nano-chisel to carve grains of sand from the Sahara desert to be infinitesimally smaller. She has worked with astrophysicists to simulate moonlight, and with a perfumer to render the smell of space. She wants to make manifest in objects and experience the wonders of the cosmos, of time and our existence – as reality rather than faith. She lets epic astronomical phenomena percolate into objects and experiences, images and sounds. Just to name a few more – an automated piano playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata bounced to the moon and back, a spinning colour wheel depicting the evolution of the universe, and a phone line that relays the sound of a melting glacier.
Future Library is Paterson’s most ambitious artwork yet. In 2014, a thousand trees were planted in the forest. They will continue to grow until 2114 when they will be turned into books, each written by a different author and kept in a special safe place by the City of Oslo. This is a life project and a journey she will make every May until she dies. The first writer was none other than Margaret Atwood. In her Forest Ceremony speech in 2015, she reflected on the mystery of the hundred years, “How strange it is to think of my own voice – silent by then for a long time – suddenly being awakened, after 100 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?”
In this programme, Paterson takes us to the forest to witness South Korean Han Kang (author of The Vegetarian) hand over her manuscript. In reflecting on the project she said, “In Korea, when a couple gets married, people bless them to live together ‘for 100 years’. It sounds like almost an eternity, I cannot survive 100 years from now, of course. No one who I love can survive, either. This relentless fact has made me reflect on the essential part of my life. Why do I write? Who am I talking to, when I write?” On this journey, we’ll hear more from Paterson about her work as an artist, and report on her nationwide project First There is a Mountain, which takes place on beaches around Britain. We also hear about the room at her grandmother’s house where, as a child, she’d lock herself in to have visions.
Katie Paterson was born in Glasgow in 1981, studied at Edinburgh College of Art then spent a year living in Iceland before embarking on a master’s at the Slade. She returned to Iceland to work as a waitress when the night sky became her obsession. She has pursued projects which engage a variety of scientific specialisms, especially astronomy and astrophysics. She’s been an artist-in-residence at University College London and is in regular contact with academic departments, observatories and amateur astronomers around the world.
Produced by Kate Bland and Stella Sabin
A Cast Iron Radio production for BBC Radio 4
The artist Katie Paterson meets the novelist David Mitchell. Katie Paterson is an award-winning artist whose conceptual works have included the sounds of melting glaciers and a map of 27,000 dead stars. She also sent a meteorite back into space. An exhibition of her work can be seen at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art until May 2020. The best-selling author David Mitchell has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize twice – for number9dream and Cloud Atlas. Next year he will publish his ninth novel.
Mary Anne Hobbs meets Katie Paterson of Future Library, a project which is currently busy growing in a forest in Norway… Paterson is gathering 100 stories from celebrated authors about ‘imagination’ and ‘time’, every year for a century. The books will remained unpublished until the year 2114, when they will be printed on paper from the forest’s trees, ready for the next generation.
Jarvis Cocker navigates the ether as he continues his nocturnal exploration of the human condition. On a night voyage across a sea of shortwave he meets those who broadcast, monitor and harvest electronic radio transmissions after dark. Paddy McAloon, founder of the band Prefab Sprout, took to trawling the megahertz when he was recovering from eye surgery and the world around him became dark. Tuning in at night he developed a ghostly romance with far-off voices and abnormal sounds. Artist Katie Paterson and ‘Moonbouncer’ Peter Blair send Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to the moon and back, to find sections of it swallowed up by craters. Journalist Colin Freeman was captured by the Somali pirates he went to report on and held hostage in a cave. But when one of them loaned him a shortwave radio, the faint signal to the outside world gave him hope as he dreamed of freedom. And “London Shortwave” hides out in a park after dark, with his ear to the speaker on his radio, slowly turning the dial to reach all four corners of the earth Jarvis sails in and out of their stories – from the cosmic to the captive – as he wonders what else is out there, deep in the noise.
Producer Neil McCarthy.
Elsa Daynac takes us on a discovery of Campo Del Cielo, Field of the Sky, the first monographic exhibition in France by British artist Katie Paterson with Sylvie Zavatta, director of the FRAC Franche-Comté in Besançon.