Monday, April 5, 2010

Rachel Sussman: The Oldest Living Things in the World

For the past 5 years, Rachel Sussman's mission has been clear, if demanding: find and photograph The Oldest Living Things in the World — continuously living organisms 2,000 years old or older. The Brooklyn photographer calls this unique catalog "part art, part science, part philosophy," and is the first project in either the arts or sciences to index things according to longevity in this way. Her subjects include the Bristlecone Pine and Giant Sequoias, predatory fungus, ancient bacteria, ocean-dwelling corals, and a clonal colony of all-male, supposedly immortal Aspen trees.

As you might guess, this project is no small feat, requiring extensive travel, lots of gear, and the help of specialists. But right now, you too can lend a hand! To date, Sussman has found and documented 25 different species. To succeed in turning this project into a book, she'll need 10 more in the next 79 days. Watch the video, learn more, and donate at her Kickstarter site. Be sure to check out her blog as well. [Thanks, Ali, for the link!]

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