1000 Years Exposure for History’s Slowest Photo will End in Year 3015.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this one will be worth a thousand years. Out of all the odd ways one can get a world record, this probably isn’t the oddest of them. If you’ve ever attempted long exposure photography, you know the hardest part can be the waiting for hours while your camera shutter remains open. Now imagine having to kill 1000 years for an exposure.
That’s the goal of photographer Jonathon Keats, who aims to take a 1000-year-long exposure of the city of Tempe, Arizona.
The camera, with a 24-carat gold plate on its front, will be installed three feet above ground at the Arizona State University Art Museum’s sculpture garden trellis after it is unveiled Friday at the museum. The camera will be pointed at the city’s skyline, capturing how civilization changes over the next 1,000 years.
Over time, the color in the paint will fade where the light enters the camera the brightest, slowly — very slowly — creating an image of the Tempe skyline in red and white.
The experiment will be finished in spring 3015 and the museum will hold a month-long exhibit when the project is complete — if everything goes according to plan in the next 1,000 years.
This experiment will be one Keats won’t live to see, neither will his children, nor his children’s children, nor his children’s children’s child- okay, you get the point. But Keats told in an interview that he doesn’t mind being not being able to attend the exposure’s unveiling in 3015.
‘I’ll be dead,’ Keats said.
‘But I don’t regret it at all. For me, it’s much more interesting to be here today, seeing the behavior of people who know they’re being watched by the unborn, and also to be watched myself, living vicariously as a future memory of the next millennium.’
Keats told Slate that the resulting photos won’t be confusing, but will require a bit of interpretation to deconstruct what is recorded in the photo. He said he plans to install a second camera in Massachusetts.