Rachel Sussman


During the A|R|Cresidency (April/Sept 2013), Rachel Sussman together with host artists Manu Luksch and Mukul Patel will build on  The Oldest Living Things in the World project to bring new perspectives to time in envisioning possible future. In our hypermediated world, a tweet is old within hours, and notoriously, in party politics, anything over 5 years in the future is only dimly relevant. Rachel’s work catalogues living things that are at least 2,000 years old (many are much older). How does one frame a landscape, or a photograph of a landscape, when the thing being depicted has been alive for so long, and will likely outlive dozens of generations of our descendants? And how does that question illuminate how we might frame our continuing existence as communities, as a species, as one of many species on this planet?

Rachel Sussman is a contemporary artist based in Brooklyn. For nearly a decade, she’s been developing the critically acclaimed project The Oldest Living Things in the World, for which she researches, works with biologists, and travels all over the world to photograph continuously living organisms 2000 years old and older. She’s received numerous awards, and spoken at TED, The Long Now Foundation, and UCLA, amongst others, and appeared on the air on CNN, BBC, and various public radio programs. Her exhibition record spans more than a decade in museums and galleries in the US and Europe, and her photographs and writing have been featured on global media outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and NPR’s Picture Show. Her first book is due out in Spring 2014 from the University of Chicago Press.




homepage Rachel Sussman

The oldest living organisms: ancient survivors with a fragile future. The Guardian. 2 May 2010

Map of continuously living organisms 2,000 years old and older, by Rachel Sussman

  TED talk