Category Popular Culture


The Incredible shrinking Man desires a more ecological human existence. We’ve outgrown our naturally given space on Earth and are starting to experience the consequences, or even consider exit strategies. But rather than fantasising about a departure from the planet that designed us, we investigate the possibilities to retrofit humanity back into Earth’s future plans. […]

Abundance Fantasies: Fish Story

In our series on Abundance Fantasies we explore how a deeply rooted desire for abundance manifests itself in our vocabulary, our myths and legends, and our cultural artefacts. The question is how we can activate these cultural pathways to initiate the desire to become smaller, because when we become smaller we shrink into abundance. In […]

Tall Tales: Langen Kerls

Tall Tales is a new series of stories that investigate our obsession with height. Throughout history there have been iconic moments, stories and situations that shaped the fundamental yet unfounded belief that taller is better. First up; the Potsdam Giants. The Potsdam Giants was a Prussian infantry regiment composed of very tall soldiers. Throughout the reign of the Prussian king Friedrich […]

Abundance Fantasies: Cockaigne

“And still I’ve more to tell of it; The geese when roasted on the spit Fly to the abbey (believe it or not) And cry out ‘Geese, all hot, all hot!’ With garlic in great quantity, The best-dressed geese a man could see. The larks are known to do the same- Land in your mouth, well-cooked […]

Subliminal Tinker Bell

If we want to convince mankind that we should downsize the human body it will not be sufficient to present the endocrinological and genetic possibilities to shrink, or point out the amount of damage we are causing because of human size, or any of the other strong arguments against increasing body size. The notion of […]

Mainstream Microphilia (Lady Gaga)

In our investigation for the popular display and culture of shrink desire, Lady Gaga stands out as the first openly microphiliac celebrity.  In a marketing campaign for a new perfume we see Gaga in what she calls her  ‘Gulliver’s pose‘  while  tiny men dressed in latex crawl over her naked body. The commercialization of the […]

What-If Modelling

Within the overpowering global manifestations and materialisations of the desire for bigger and more, there exists precious little space to cultivate a desire for smaller and less. Few, and far between are the safehavens where dominant growth ideals are challenged and replaced by its opposite. But they exist. And we plan to create more. There […]

(Mad) Scientist Fiction

Mankind seems so indoctrinated to think bigger that sometimes the mere suggestion that we should become smaller is thoughtlessly rejected as mad science. Ever since the 20th century our relationship with science, vacillating between science as the salvation of society or its doom, has been personified by the fictional (Hollywood) character of the mad scientist. Following the […]

Relic Paulina

The Dutch are among the tallest people in the world yet the smallest girl that ever lived was from the Netherlands. Johanna Paulina Musters’ extremely small stature, she was only 58 centimeters, her talent for acrobatics, singing and dancing, and the ability to speak several languages, quickly made her rise to international fame as a sideshow […]

Anthropology of Small Mythological Characters

Undoubtedly myths have some responsibility for how we define our relationship with the small. Mythical explanations of the world often present small beings as metaphors for the unexplainable. The small have become a space to project human desires, fears, ideals and ideas. Knowledge of this vast component of global mythology can be of some importance if […]