The Thousand-Year Photo

Monday October 22, 2018 Written by Ronan

Good things might come to those who wait, but a camera that that takes one snap per millennium and an artist who will never see his own photographs certainly turns that idea on its head.

Jonathan Keats is the artist in question, and his camera has been set up to scrutinise the landscape of Tempe, Arizona until 3015. Long-exposure doesn’t begin to do justice to this kind of time frame, and Keats has been careful to house the device in technology that will see it to the end of its singular mission. He has some predictions of the end result:

“Anything moving quickly, like cars and people, won’t show up at all. But you’ll be able to see bigger changes, like the ghost of housing knocked down after a hundred years, haunting the buildings that take its place. The picture will be less like a snapshot, more like a single-frame movie.”

There is a philosophical message behind the mind-boggling time capsules: we are all connected to future generations, and play a part in shaping the world they will see.

Keats has already set one other camera in Berlin, and has plans for these omniscient watchers to go global.