On Unknown Things

When explorers first sailed around the world, they gave their travelogues elaborate but beautiful names – The Book of Treasure; Treatise on the Most Wonderful and Remarkable Things to be Found in the World; The Great Mirror.

On Unknown Things by Odoric of Pordenone is of that tradition. We borrowed the name.

Commission by the Barbican (UK), On Unknown Things seeks to put doubt at the centre of the work. Envisioned as a notebook for the reader, its text drifting across the white page, the work is an attempt to capture the feeling of a multidisciplinary residency, Fieldwork 0.2, where space, uncertainty, and potential were elevated above immediate production and outcomes.

 

The writing lives in the white space but never overpowers it, and the reader is invited to write around, across or on the text—to reimagine, essentially, with nothing left as an authority. 

It was designed by Avani Tanya and Quicksand Studios, and was printed for limited distribution in 2021.