Notes To An Unknown Lover


Sadia, S (UK/CAN) Notes to an Unknown Lover. Thirty channel audio installation, loop. 2014.


'Notes To An Unknown Lover’ is a 30 channel audio installation, based on the limited edition artist’s monograph of the same title.

Across a cycle of thirty poems, a woman addresses her innermost thoughts and observations to an unknown lover. Poems recorded by the artist, each channel containing one poem with each line separated by a fixed period of silence.

The varying lengths of the lines of text, broken by intervals, combine to form a cascade of sound. This produces a random reading of the text from which limitless discrete combinations arise, creating a infinite number of ‘fresh’ readings of the work.



Exhibition history:

The audio installation of ‘Notes To An Unknown Lover’ premiered in its original thirty-channel iteration at the Spinnerei Rundgang in Leipzig, Germany in 2014.

In October 2017 it ran as part of the show ‘Poetry’, at the George Paton gallery in Melbourne, Australia as part of “an exhibition of text-based works that bear a formal relationship to the space they occupy; such as the page, the book, the screen, the board, the wall, me, space, or take an art work as a starting point. Think of concrete poetry, text-works that utilise the page/book as a formal device, ekphrastic poems, word paintings, performance poetry, word & text-based video, and audio works.” For this exhibition, the work was processed in stereo with 3D audio software creating psychoacoustic sound localisation and distance cues.


The artists’ monograph ‘Notes To An Unknown Lover’ is held as part of the permanent collection of the Bodleian Library, Oxford University.