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The Oldest Living Things in the World (Hardcover)

Original price was: $89.45.Current price is: $58.48.

     The Oldest Living Things in the World is an epic journey through time and space.  Over the past decade, artist Rachel Sussman has researched, worked with biologists, and traveled the world to photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older.

     Spanning from Antarctica to Greenland, the Mojave Desert to the Australian Outback, the result is a stunning and unique visual collection of ancient organisms unlike anything that has been created in the arts or sciences before, insightfully and

Last updated on June 12, 2024 4:49 pm


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“As a kind of time-traveling expeditionist — a chrononaut? —Sussman lets us drink from primeval wells. One of the great satisfactions of her book is that it allows us to peer at the almost eternal even as we’re mired in a culture quick to praise the new and ephemeral.”

(New York Times)

“The Oldest Living Things in the World serves us the humbling profundity and pathos of things that live almost forever. We see our abstract selves and feel the terrible bludgeon of that which we cannot have and are fated only to behold. Rachel Sussman brings you to the place where science, beauty, and eternity meet.”

(Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine)

“The Oldest Living Things in the World adds in dramatic manner a fascinating new perspective―literally, dinosaurs―of the living world around us.”

(Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University)

“Contemplate life through the time scale of The Oldest Living Things, and you’ll find your mind expanded and heart inspired. I’m thrilled to see Rachel’s powerful TED talk develop and deepen into this captivating book. “

(Chris Anderson, TED curator)

“Longevity means continuity. Long-lived people connect generations for us. Really long-lived organisms, like the ones Sussman has magnificently collected photographically, connect millennia. They put all of human history in living context. And as Sussman shows, they are everywhere on Earth. This book embodies the Long Now and the Big Here.”

(Stewart Brand, cofounder, The Long Now Foundation)

“Something astounding happens when Rachel Sussman photographs the most ancient organisms to be found across our planet. A fraction of a second of time in her photographic exposures animates forms that have evolved across nature’s deep time to create a profound experience of being alive. Sussman’s ten-year investigation of the symbols of the earth’s ecology is rigorous and exploratory, realized with such generosity to the reader and her ambitions make an impossibly vast subject both felt and understood.”

(Charlotte Cotton, author of The Photograph as Contemporary Art)

“I am in awe―awe staring at my planet’s old sages, who know the way things were, will be, and should be―awe when I appreciate Rachel Sussman’s epic quest to round them all up and her daring in stealing their soul with her photographs.”

(Paola Antonelli, senior curator, Museum of Modern Art)

“There’s a sense of wonder imbued in these photographs of organisms that seem to be a physical record of time, but there’s also a call to action. Many of these subjects of Sussman’s portraits are under threat from habitat loss or climate change or simple human idiocy.”


“Beautiful and powerful work at the intersection of fine art, science, and philosophy, spanning seven continents and exploring issues of deep time, permanence and impermanence, and the interconnectedness of life. With an artist’s gift for ‘aesthetic force’ and a scientist’s rigorous respect for truth, Sussman straddles a multitude of worlds as she travels across space and time to unearth Earth’s greatest stories of resilience, stories of tragedy and triumph, past and future, but above all stories that humble our human lives.”

(Brain Pickings)

“The series, and now book, is part art, part science, and part travelogue, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Because whether you look at these as documentary photography or scientific snapshots of millennia-old species that are now being threatened by the looming specter of climate change, there’s something in this book for everyone.”


About the Author

Rachel Sussman is a contemporary artist based in Brooklyn. Her photographs and writing have been featured in the New York TimesWall Street JournalGuardian, and NPR’s Picture Show. She has spoken on the TED main stage and at the Long Now Foundation, is a MacDowell Colony and NYFA Fellow and is a trained member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and Europe, and acquired for museum, university, corporate, and private collections. She is fiscally sponsored by the Brooklyn Arts Council. To make 100% US tax-deductible donation to support her ongoing work, please visit: http://rachelsussman.com/donate.
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The Oldest Living Things in the World (Hardcover), University of Chicago Press

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as of June 12, 2024 4:49 pm
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Current Price C $58.48 June 12, 2024
Highest Price C $80.45 January 14, 2024
Lowest Price C $58.48 January 21, 2024
Since January 14, 2024

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