Rachel Sussman is obsessed with very old things that are still alive. She has spent years researching and tracking down the world's oldest organisms. Here, take a look at just some of her photographs, and watch her 2010 TED Talk on the topic.Continue reading
Why you should listen
For the past five years, Rachel Sussman has traveled around the globe photographing organisms that have lived for more than 2,000 years. From 500,000-year-old actinobacteria in the Siberian permafrost a lone spruce standing on a mostly barren mountain in Sweden, her images capture both the robustness and fragility of life. While these organisms' longevity dwarfs even that of human civilization, they all depend on ecosystems in fine balance -- a balance thrown into question by human encroachment and climate change.
Sussman's work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe in venues including the Museum of Natural History.
What others say
“The collection offers a rare perspective of life on Earth. Some of the organisms Sussman has captured look alien. Many were alive in the bronze age. Others were eking out an existence long before modern humans rose up and migrated out of Africa.” — The Guardian
Rachel Sussman’s TED talk
More news and ideas from Rachel Sussman
Rachel Sussman shows photographs of the world’s oldest continuously living organisms — from 2,000-year-old brain coral off Tobago’s coast to an “underground forest” in South Africa that has lived since before the dawn of agriculture. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2010, July 2010 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 14:09) Watch Rachel Sussman’s talk on TED.com where you can […]Continue reading