Rad ArtWatch: 1,000-Year-Long, 9-Word Story
A few months back, Opium Magazine put together a very special 8th issue that has attempted to bring some hype (read: actual monetary profits) to the quickly-dying industry of the printed word. Dubbed “The Infinity Issue”, the cover contains a short 9-word story that will reveal itself extremely slowly. How slowly? Let’s just say, there’s a good chance you won’t live to see the 2nd word.
Wired.com explains the technology:
The printing process in question is a simple but, as usual with Keats, pretty clever idea. The cover is printed in a double layer of standard black ink, with an incrementally screened overlay masking the nine words. Exposed over time to ultraviolet light, the words will be appear at different rates, supposedly one per century.
“The precise quantity of ink covering each word is different, so that the words will appear one at a time,” Keats said. “Provided that your copy of Opium is kept out in the open, and regularly exposed to sunlight over 1,000 years to be read progressively by the next dozen or so generations.”
(The official Opium Magazine website explains the process a bit more flashy if you’re interested.)
Obviously, all of this production value is most likely for naught, seeing as the small, independent magazine will no doubt be forgotten by the time the second word is revealed in 2109. Luckily, odds are good that someone will be able to use some kind of ultraviolet ray to spoil the story without having to wait 1,000 years for something that will, no doubt, be an awful let down. Get to work, scientists!
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About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.