Artist pinhole camera will take 1,000 year long exposure shots to document climate change, showcased in 3018

By Jack Williams


A philosopher has set up a series of cameras on 1,000-year-long exposures as a way of documenting the impact of climate change.

Jonathon Keats’ project will even see the self-described experimental philosophers’ works showcased to the public… in the year 3018.

PIC FROM RYLAND WEST / TAHOE PUBLIC ART / CATERS

In total, four images will be shot by Jonathon’s “Millennium Cameras” – which are dotted across Lake Tahoe, California, USA.

The final images will be showcased as part of a contract with Sierra Nevada College, Jonathon, 47, said.

PIC FROM RYLAND WEST / TAHOE PUBLIC ART / CATERS

He added: “If everything works out, future generations will see a composite image of all that transpired over a millennium in a single image.

“You might think of it as an entire 1,000-year-long movie compressed into one frame.

PIC FROM RYLAND WEST / TAHOE PUBLIC ART / CATERS

“As for the content of the image, that’s something we can and must decide through our actions in the present.”

Jonathon specifically chose to observe the Tahoe Basin because it is in environmentally sensitive area that, he said, is “undergoing pervasive development.”

PIC FROM RYLAND WEST / TAHOE PUBLIC ART / CATERS

The concept behind the Millennium Camera came from a 2010 design Jonathon had put together – a camera that could be cut out, folded, set in place, and would shoot for 100 years.

For his latest project, though, the philosopher decided to up the timeframe on his copper cameras, which are 2.75 inches long and 2.25 inches in diameter.

PIC FROM RYLAND WEST / TAHOE PUBLIC ART / CATERS

A sheet of 24-karat gold that has been pierced by a small hole sits inside each camera, and as light passes through this hole, it will react with a rose-coloured pigment.

This choice of pigment came from studying the preservation of renaissance paintings, and a series of renderings have been created to show how the images might look stylistically.

PIC FROM RYLAND WEST / TAHOE PUBLIC ART / CATERS

So far, the response has been positive, San Francisco-based Jonathon said.

He added: “People are already deeply engaged.

PIC FROM JEN DESSINGER / CATERS

“Students at Sierra Nevada College have made a first round of artworks envisioning the future, a process that will continue over the next thousand years.

“And Tahoe Public Art is actively engaging constituencies throughout the Tahoe Basin, from environmental scientists to ski resorts.”