Entire industries have risen up around little things.
For a while, at Checkers, you would get small versions of grocery items for free at the till. A friend has a box of them at home, and despite having no idea what to do with them, can’t bear to throw them away.
Search YouTube and you’ll find countless videos of people cooking miniature versions of popular dishes like mac and cheese, in tiny kitchens.
I recently listened to an episode of This American Life titled ‘Small things Considered’.
In it, host Ira Glass spoke to one of his colleagues, Bim Adewunmi, about her fascination with small things.
She mentioned tiny tubs of Vaseline, “about the size of my thumbnail”, that she liked because “they seem almost pointless”.
I think small things, by nature, are whimsical. They just feel like, oh, you didn’t have to be. You didn’t have to exist, but here you are. And that’s what makes them kind of joyful.
The episode is well worth a listen – it’s one of my favourites on the podcast.
‘Whimsical’ is the perfect way to describe a record store, Ricotta Records, that recently materialised in the town of Lund, in the south of Sweden – for mice.
The tiny installation, reports Forbes, comes complete with records by the likes of Johnny Cashew, Briehanna, Destiny’s Cheese, Niki Fromaj, Feta James, Lady Gouda, Rats Against the Machine, and other best-selling rodent stars.
It’s the work of AnonyMouse, an art collective that calls itself “a loosely connected network of mice and men”.
“There’s no particular hidden meaning behind it. We just try to create something that we would all have loved to stumble upon as children. That being said, all street art is, ultimately, a way to change the public space, and, as such, it’s also a form of defiance—no matter how cute it happens to be,” says AnonyMouse.
“We believe that, at some point, most kids like to imagine that there’s a world parallel to ours in which small animals live like we do, but recycle things we’ve lost.”
“So we try to incorporate as many human objects as we can—a champagne cork becomes a chair, a matchbox a desk, a seashell is used as a lampshade, a stamp as a painting, and so on,” the group continues.
Like all of their work, Ricotta Records is incredibly detailed, and packed with innovative, fun small-scale features for visitors to spot.
“By the little stage inside the store, there’s a bottle-cap banjo that people have seen, but no one has noticed the dog-whistle clarinet,” says AnonyMouse.
“We’re also quite fond of the neon sign outside, a feature we had not explored in any previous installations.”
Various towns around Sweden, France, and Isle of Man have been treated to AnonyMouse installations, including a French-inspired nut shop, Noix de Vie:
And Frankie and Benjys bookstore:
You can check out more of their work on Instagram.
It really is the best thing ever.
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