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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Miniature worlds

Check out the great photos at <legnangel.livejournal.com/564026.html>. I wish I could read the Russian text, but maybe Boris can help.

Anyway, the question for me is why this collection resonates for me at several different levels. For one, the miniature figures look like — and might in fact be — model-railroad figures that have been repurposed. The use of food items, actual-size rather than scaled down, sets up a feel of Gulliver’s Travels, a feeling that’s very different from the miniature world of model railroading where absolutely everything is perfectly to scale. This tension is amusing, attention-getting, and fascinating.

There’s also an interesting connection with mathematics, where we are often concerned with models and representation. What happens when there’s a clash between two representations of different scales? Does this incongruity create delight and humor?

I’ll resist saying that it’s food for thought.

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