Often on a bus or train you’ll see someone scribbling away in a notebook and if you’re lucky/brazen enough you might be in a position to see what they’re putting down on paper, potentially for posterity. Of course, often it’s something fairly mundane/disturbing (a shopping list or a hateful monograph about someone called Martin) but the possibility always exists that it’s the mental meanderings of a bona fide genius.
The good folk who run dOCUMENTA (13), a 100-day arts festival that takes place in Germany once very five years, are similarly obsessed, and are publishing 100 facsimilied notebooks with Hatje Cantz to mark this year’s event.
Encompassing artists, scientists, philosophers, linguists, psychologists economists and political theorists, 100 Notes–100 Thoughts is a diverse bunch of some of significant figures’ intimate musings
As the organisers put it: “A note is a trace, a word, a drawing that all of a sudden becomes part of thinking, and is transformed into an idea. This publication project follows that path, presenting the mind in a prologue state, in a pre-public arena. A space for intimacy and not yet of criticism, dOCUMENTA is publishing the unpublishable, the voice—and the reader is our alibi and ally. Note taking encompasses witnessing, drawing, writing, and diagrammatic thinking; it is speculative, manifests a preliminary moment, a passage, and acts as a memory aid.”
The aim is to “explore how thinking emerges and lies at the heart of re-imagining the world. Thoughts, unlike statements, are always variations: this is the spirit in which these notebooks are proposed.”
Designed by Leftloft they are simple, striking objects available in varying formats and either English or German. We basically want them all.
dOCUMENTA (13) runs from June 9 until 16 September.