Tiny Container
2016
Collaborators: More&More Unlimited (an Illogistics Company™)
(Surya Mattu, Sarah Rothberg, Marina Zurkow)
Web development: Neil Cline
Suits: Print All Over Me
Developed in part through LMCC’s Process Space residency on Governor’s Island
Project website: moreandmore.world



DESCRIPTION
More&More's flagship project, Tiny Containers, is a series of swimsuits that visualize (in various ways) the global circulation of stuff, bringing the overwhelming system of complex trade relationships to human scale.
Tiny Container swimsuits represent the contents of shipping containers, arguably the most important facilitator of globalized trade. Containers are black boxes, their contents nearly interchangeable, as far as the system is concerned. Containerization and the abstraction that surrounds it allows the flow of the system to continue for its own sake. These swimsuits suggest that despite their invisibility, humans and the ocean are part of this flow.




TINY CONTAINER V1

The first iteration of the suits, on exhibit at bitforms in 2016, we used data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity, an open API that is used to track nations’ import and export products and volumes. In order to visualize the data, we created a glossary of icons that corresponded to the 1256 4-digit categories that determine import-export trade:
The swimsuit textiles were generated using more&more’s custom interface that offered visitors a chance to track what else might have come along with the product of their choice from a specified country of origin.




 
TINY CONTAINER V2
In our second iteration, we focused on creating national “portrait” textiles by visualizing nations' world’s fair share - that is, the export products that dynamically make up the majority of their export identity. Two of our favorites represent Italy (left) and Somalia (right). There is overlap in their export goods -- they both export hides for instance; but Italy’s are refined and Somalia’s are crude,  and Italy is partially responsible for Somalia’s trade demise and current characterization as a nation of pirates.



The term “trade hyperobject” became our mantra - a wormhole through which we could find no way out of the logistics space. It seemed the idea of nations was quaintly obsolete; one would fare better to reconsider provenance by rethinking product labeling to say MADE IN CHEAP or MADE IN EXPENSIVE. As part of this exploration, we created souvenir postcards from these nations.