It was invented by the experimental philosopher from the University of Arizona, USA, Jonathan Keats Millennium camera, a device designed to take a single image over the course of a thousand years. The camera focuses on Tuscon, Arizona and is intended to provoke our thoughts about humanity's past, present and future and what our society might look like when we reach the 31st century.
Most people have a very pessimistic view of what is to come. It is easy to imagine how people would form an image of Tuscon in a thousand years, one that is much worse than what we see today, but the fact that we can imagine it is not so bad. It's actually a good thing, because if we can imagine it, we can also imagine something different, and thus, we may be motivated to take action to shape our future.
The camera consists of a steel shaft topped with a brass cylinder. When light enters the cylinder, it passes through a pinhead-sized hole in a thin sheet of 24-karat gold and then onto a surface containing an oil pigment called pink madder. Keats can only guess what kind of material will gradually change over the centuries to leave a recognizable image, but he hopes the rose madness will work.
Although when revealing the image, the most stable parts of the scene will be the sharpest, while areas that change frequently will have a more blurry halo. Thus mountains and hills will be clearly captured, while the number and type of buildings will change over the centuries.
The camera is in no way concerned with development, or how the city will be built in the future. It exists to create questions and discussions for future generations, and to let them know that it exists in our thoughts.
1000 years ago, humanity was in the Middle Ages and fought wars with swords and bows. In the next thousand years, there is no doubt that climate change, artificial intelligence, and countless other factors will change our world, making it very different from what it is today.
Kates says that there are many reasons why the camera may not work as it should, as it is the first of its kind, and future generations may even remove it. However, it is scheduled to operate until 3023.
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