Members get a snapshot view of new Long Now content with easy access to all their member benefits.
Published monthly, the member newsletter gives in-depth and behind the scenes updates on Long Now's projects.
Special updates on the 10,000 Year Clock project are posted on the members only Clock Blog.
Filmed on Wednesday July 23, 02008
Toronto-based photographer Burtynsky is an Officer of the Order of Canada and winner of the 02004 TED Prize. His photographs are in fifty public collections, and he is the subject of a prize-winning film, "Manufactured Landscapes."
Burtynsky's massively informative photographs change minds and influence policy. They are also exquisite art. Their historical value will grow with time. Other art has similar reach. There should be a gallery that collects, displays, and sifts such works over centuries and millennia, and develops ways to preserve them. That is exactly Burtynsky's plan--- a 10,000-year Gallery to accompany the 10,000-year Clock. His presentation will explore and demonstrate the idea.
Edward Burtynsky is an Officer of the Order of Canada and winner of the 2004 Ted Prize. His photographs are in the permanent collections of fifteen major museums, including the Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Bibiotheque Nationale in Paris, and the Victoria & Albert in London. He is the subject of a prize-winning film, "Manufactured Landscapes."
Photographer Edward Burtynsky made a formal proposal for a permanent art gallery in the chamber that encloses the 10,000-year Clock in its Nevada mountain. The gallery would consist of art in materials as durable as the alloy steel and jade of the Clock itself, and it would be curated slowly over the centuries to reflect changing interests in the rolling present and the accumulating past.
Photographs in particular should be in the 10,000-year Gallery, Burtynsky said, “because they tell us more than any previous medium. When we think of our own past, we tend to think in terms of family photos.”
But photographic prints, especially color prints, degrade badly over time. Burtynsky went on a quest for a technical solution. He thought that automobile paint, which holds up to harsh sunlight, might work if it could be run through an inkjet printer, but that didn’t work out. Then he came across a process first discovered in 1855, called “carbon transfer print.” It uses magenta, cyan, and yellow inks made of ground stone—the magenta stone can only be found in one mine in Germany—and the black ink is carbon.
On the stage Burtynsky showed a large carbon transfer print of one of his ultra-high resolution photographs. The color and detail were perfect. Accelerated studies show that the print could hang in someone’s living room for 500 years and show no loss of quality. Kept in the Clock’s mountain in archival conditions it would remain unchanged for 10,000 years. He said that making one print takes five days of work, costs $2,000, and only ten artisans in the world have the skill, at locations in Toronto, Seattle, and Cornwall. Superb images can be made on porcelain (or Clock chamber walls), but Burtynsky prefers archival watercolor paper, because the ink bonds deep into the paper, and in the event of temperature changes, the ink and paper would expand and contract together.
The rest of the presentation was of beautiful and evocative photographs from three demonstration exhibits for the proposed gallery—”Museum of the Mundane” by Vid Ingelvics; “Observations from a Blue Planet” by Marcus Schubert; and “In the Wake of Progress” by Burtynsky himself. A typical Burtynsky photograph showed a huge open pit copper mine. A tiny, barely discernible black line on one of the levels was pointed out: “That’s a whole railroad train.” Alberta tar sands excavation tearing up miles of boreal forest. China’s Three Gorges Dam. Mine tailing ponds beautiful and terrible. Expired oil fields stretching to the horizon. Michelangelo’s marble quarry at Carrera, still working.
“This is the sublime of our time,” said Burtynsky, “shown straight on, for contemplation.” Indeed worth studying for centuries.--Stewart Brand
Condensed ideas about long-term thinking summarized by Stewart Brand
(with Kevin Kelly, Alexander Rose and Paul Saffo) and a foreword by Brian Eno.
We would also like to recognize George Cowan (01920 - 02012) for being the first to sponsor this series.Would you like to be a featured Sponsor?
Seminars About Long-term Thinking is made possible through the generous support of The Long Now Membership and our Seminar Sponsors. We offer $5,000 and $15,000 annual Sponsorships, both of which entitle the sponsor and a guest to reserved seating at all Long Now seminars and special events. In addition, we invite $15,000 Sponsors to attend dinner with the speaker after each Seminar, and $5,000 Sponsors may choose to attend any four dinners during the sponsored year. For more information about donations and Seminar Sponsorship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a public 501(c)(3) non-profit, and donations to us are always tax deductible.
The Long Now Foundation • Fostering Long-term Responsibility • est. 01996 Top of Page