The Tiny

Perhaps because I spent many hours at the Minnesota State Fair yesterday, a wonderful 10 day event attended by a few million people that embodies excess (people, animals, food, toys, waste, you name it) the notion of ‘the tiny’ is on my mind today.

Minimalism has been in on my mind for a while now reaching a point where awareness of stuff owned has started a questioning. Perhaps  we travel on a spectrum of duality, the ‘excessive’ at one end and the ‘minimal’ at the other, the ‘large’ at one end and the ‘tiny’ at another.

In my discipline of architecture, the tiny has caught on big – there is talk of tiny homes and tiny spaces and tiny objects everywhere. But until this moment other than its piquing my interest in a quaint sort of way I had not seen its deeper significance.

The notion of tiny seems profound and is a concept that seems relatively elastic. Tiny to whom? For example, the earth is so large that we cannot perceive her largeness below our feet. It is we humans who are tiny beings on her surface. Yet, in images from space, she seems tiny – the blue-green marble to which scientists and poets refer.

I hold a small catalogue in my hand called ‘Intimate and Intense: Small Fiber Structures’ published in 1992 in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name and am intrigued by the images of small fiber works and the discussion at the end. A quote catches my attention:

“A small fiber work is a poem, a very tight haiku. It contains only the essential – everything that’s not necessary has been eliminated.”

The quote confirms that the tiny and the minimal are related. Perhaps in my seeking of the minimal, the tiny will show the way? Here’s to exploring the teeny, the miniature and the minuscule, lots of it.

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