Rachel Sussman's work is equal parts art, science and philosophy, and with her images of 3,000-year-old lichen and 7,000-year-old trees, she draws poignant perspectives on the nature of time, life and humanity's place in it.
Sussman's work provides audiences with a way to understand ideas around deep time, and has served as a portal for connecting scientists from disparate disciplines, providing them with a platform to consider the intersections between their various specialties.
Spruce Gran Picea #0909 – 11A07 (9,550 years old; Fulufjället, Sweden)
This 9,950-year-old tree is like a portrait of climate change. The mass of branches…Read More »
near the ground grew the same way for roughly 9,500 years, but the new, spindly trunk in the center is only 50 or so years old, caused by warming at the top of this mountain plateau in Western Sweden. Less «
Dead Huon Pine adjacent to living population segment #1211-3609 (10,500 years old, Mount Read, Tasmania
Fire destroyed much of this clonal colony of Huon…Read More »
Pines (as seen in this photograph) on Mount Read, Tasmania, but a substantial portion of it survived. The age of the colony was discovered by carbon-dating ancient pollen found at the bottom of a nearby lake bed — the pollen was genetically matched to the living colony. Less «
Pafuri Baobab #0707-1335 (Up to 2,000 years old; Kruger National Park, South Africa)
This baobab lives in the Kruger Game Preserve in South Africa and…Read More »
requires an armed escort to visit. Baobabs get pulpy at their centers and tend to hollow out as they grow older. These hollows can serve as natural shelters for animals, but have also been appropriated for some less scrupulous human uses: for instance, as a toilet, a prison, and a bar. Less «
At 100,000 years old, the Posidonia sea grass meadow was first taking…Read More »
root at the same time some of our earliest ancestors were creating the first known "art studio" in South Africa. It lives in the UNESCO-protected waterway between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera. Less «
Bristlecone Pine #0906-3030 (White Mountains, California)
Bristlecone pines are the oldest unitary organisms in the world, known to surpass 5,000 years…Read More »
in age. In the 1960s a then-grad student cut down what would have been the oldest known tree in the world while retrieving a lost coring bit. A cross section of that tree was placed in a Nevada casino. Less «