For this work I’ve borrowed from Macrobian map forms, commonly used in medieval manuscripts to present remnants of sciences and philosophies developed during Antiquity.
Depicting Australia through an anthropological lens, Out of Nothing, Nothing considers the interruption of human ideological evolution during medieval xtian expansion, and the subsequently human-centric worldview “we” brought with us during colonial migration.
Scholars have tried since the renaissance to revive ‘natural philosophy’. Having discovered the lost work of the Roman poet Lucretius, they recovered a vital link to Epicureanism and early sciences, which describe the insignificance and brevity of human life when pitted against the permanence and magnitude of the natural world.
I use Lucretius’s fragmented words to lament lost knowledge and alternative evolutionary paths. While the imagery tracks our anthropocentric landscape, my own words play with Australia’s geological story, nudging us towards the embrace of our transience and insignificance as philosophically ‘positive’.