Some Things to Think About:

Representation is a variety of game playing and language, a set of self-defined rules, not a fact, or sequence of facts, regardless of the mode of representation employed. The issue is not whether the style of any statement is the “best” style, the most up to the minute or the one favoured by the cognescenti of the moment : the important issues are how the style contributes positively to what is being said, how fertile is the potential field of communicative power opened up by any particular approach, and by how much the style, the manner of speaking, limits the possibilities of what can be thought and said.

Life itself appears to be game-like in structure. Some rules have been fixed before the game starts, some become defined during interaction with contemporaneous players and communities. Some are consensual, some are not. This is not to belittle the stakes involved for the players.

If “free will” exists at all, it is constrained by a nested cage of limiting processes (some human, some not). If humans have a distinction, a uniqueness in the natural world, (and increasingly it begins to look as if that is delusional), it is the potential to be aware of these restrictions, which is categorically different from being able to disentangle ourselves from those same limiting factors.

The large scale in visual art is usually an indication of access to resources for both creator and consumer and hence a signifier of status. But it is not, I would argue, automatically a prerequisite for meaning or significance. For those of us unfortunate in status and resources, the only rational response is to make work that makes a virtue of its diminutive size. I've always been ambivalent about the colossal in art, but increasingly I feel that, beyond its garish self-promotion, as an approach it limits what of interest can actually be tends to glorify the individual, above all else, and to flatten out complexity into a homogonous lump, it replaces complexity of understanding with a shouted simplicity of argument.

In response I call for the inspiration of the map, the diagram, the model and the toy in the palm of your hand, not because smaller is more truthful, but because a big representation is no closer to reality than a smaller one, and because an interest in our embedded position within systemic processes seems to demand it.

“...the intrinsic value of a small-scale model is that it compensates for the renunciation of sensible dimensions by the acquisition of intelligible dimensions.”

Claude Levi-Strauss
(“The Savage Mind” Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 1966 p24)

“....In that Empire, the craft of Cartography attained such Perfection that the Map of a Single province covered the space of an entire City, and the Map of the Empire itself an entire Province. In the course of Time, these Extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the College of Cartographers evolved a Map of the Empire that was of the same Scale as the Empire and that coincided with it point for point. Less attentive to the study of Cartography, succeeding Generations came to judge a map of such Magnitude cumbersome, and, not without Irreverence, they abandoned it to the Rigours of sun and Rain. In the western Deserts, tattered Fragments of the Map are still to be found, Sheltering an occasional Beast or beggar: in the whole Nation, no other relic is left of the Discipline of Geography.”

(Jorge Luis Borges: “Of Exactitude in Science”,
in “A Universal History of Infamy”, Penguin 1966 p131)

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour”

(William Blake “Auguries of Innocence” 1800-1803)