Stunning golden time capsule full of art and literature to be opened in 2120
A time capsule filled with 4,000 pieces of art and literature has been sealed in Kraków and is now on show in the city ahead of a wider national tour that will see it displayed around Poland in some of the country’s best-known tourist hotspots.
Looking to “confront visions of the future with reality”, the capsule is the work of Aleksander Rokosz, a young designer who sought inspiration from Kraków’s major landmarks.
Resembling a golden crown (a reference to the city’s royal heritage) and also influenced by the bugle call from St. Mary’s Cathedral, his installation was created with user interaction in mind whilst also being purposefully built to mirror concepts of time, space and changing reality.
“Mounted at an optimal height and accessible to all passers-by, the mirrored object encourages interaction by allowing people to look at themselves, their surroundings and the changing moment,” say the organizers. “Instead of complex technologies, the time capsule harnesses the natural phenomenon of reflection which enables it to become an accurate city clock.”
Beating off competition from 125 other entrants, Rokosz’s design was chosen via a public plebiscite held two years ago.
Named the “The Heart of the Time Capsule”, the project’s aim is to bridge the present with the future by preserving “visions of tomorrow from today’s perspective.”
To do so, the organizers – Tworzy My Kraków – challenged the public to imagine the world in 100 years’ time before committing their thoughts to paper.
Over 4,000 submissions followed, many from children. Including paintings and written thoughts and essays, the resulting entries vary in scope from being light-hearted and amusing to dark and pessimistic.
While some paintings depict rockets, spaceships and a happy planet inhabited by smiling, picnicking crocodiles, others present an altogether gloomier vision of striking meteors, tearful humans, bleak landscapes and environmental catastrophe.
Of the more calamitous forecasts, one 14-year-old foresees Warsaw’s Palace of Culture & Science as an overgrown tomb-like ruin; another picture, painted by a 13-year-old contributor, imagines Kraków’s St. Mary’s standing on its own surrounded by rising waters.
Perhaps most poignantly, 15-year-old Julia Szmeichel presents a robotic figure kneeling in thoughtful contemplation at a small plant in front.
First assessed by a professional jury, the works were then placed inside the time capsule both in original and electronic format. Complimented also by video messages recorded on iOS and Android applications, Jagiellonian University will serve as the capsule’s principal base, however, plans are already afoot for temporary appearances in various locations around Poland’s second city.
This will be followed by a whistle stop tour of Poland next year to destinations proposed by the public.
Notably, that the objects contained within do not follow an exclusively positive, pre-ordained narrative has added an unexpectedly intellectual value to the project that will become apparent to future generations:
“On the occasions that the capsule will be opened, we hope that panels of experts such as historians and sociologists will meet to discuss and assess these visions of the future and compare them to their reality,” says Agnieszka Cudek, vice president of Tworzy My Kraków.
Although ultimately the entire collection of items will not be revealed until the year 2120, token openings have been scheduled to occur in ten years’ time and also 25-year cycles.
To see more of the time capsule’s contents go HERE.