Share this project


Share this project

Photo original
I'm researching, working with biologists, and traveling all over the world to find & photograph continuously living organisms 2,000 years old or older
Created by

rachel sussman

205 backers pledged $11,893 to help bring this project to life.

OLTW, One year later

Dear OLTW supporters,

It's been just over a year since the OLTW Kickstarter campaign came to a close. The Oldest Living Things might hardly have noticed the year click by, but I sure did. So much has happened, and I couldn't have done it without your support. You helped me photograph 100,000-year-old sea grass in the Balearic Islands, the world's oldest Chestnut tree in Sicily, and a 3000-year-old + Olive tree in Crete. You helped purchase film and photo paper, underwater housing for my camera, all with enough left over for an in-flight meal on my way to Riverside, CA for the 13,000-year-old clonal scrub oak.

Posidonia Oceania Sea Grass #0910-P1000753 (100,000 years old; Balearic Islands, Spain) [13x19", edition of 10]

What else is going on? I've exhibited at the Hannover Kunstverein, Montalvo Arts Center, Berlin Botanical Museum, and my first US art museum: the Museum of Contemporary Photography's Our Origins exhibition. OLTW has appeared in the pages of O Magazine, and the World Future Council has invited me to present to the UN Forum on Forests and Biological Diversity to encourage further protections of long-lived organisms. Now we're talkin'.

(View my TED talk here, or on

All of this momentum started with you. And there's a lot more in the works:

On August 1st I head to Sri Lanka for an ancient banyan fig, made possible by a grant from eco-adventurer David de Rothschild and his non-profit organization, Sculpt the Future. And you heard it here first: Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic Explorer invited me on an expedition to Antarctica this winter, so that I may finally try to find the 5,500-year-old moss banks living on an island off the Antarctic Peninsula. Wow.

One other major expedition this fall is still in need of support: a 4-pronged trip spanning mainland Australia and the wilds of Tasmania. If you or someone you know is in a position to help, please consider making a fully tax-deductible contribution via my fiscal sponsor, the Brooklyn Arts Council. Just be sure to mention "Rachel Sussman" in the "Designate your donation" field.

I want to thank each of you again for your support, great or small, in whatever form it's taken. I wouldn't be here without you. Big publishing plans are being hatched as we speak, along with some opportunities exclusive to you, my Kickstarter backers. If you haven't done so already, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter and blog for more updates, or drop me a line.

My sincerest thanks,