Tiny Container
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

More&More's flagship project, Tiny Containers, is a series of swimsuits that visualize 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 shipping system to continue for its own sake. These swimsuits suggest that despite their invisibility, humans and the ocean are part of this flow.


For 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 1,256 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.

In the second iteration of the project we focused on creating national “portrait” textiles by visualizing nations' world’s fair share—the export products that dynamically make up the majority of a nation’s 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 hides are refined and Somalia’s are crude.  We also appreciate this pairing and what the textiles depict, as Italy is partially responsible for Somalia’s economic (and connected ecological) demise and current characterization as a nation of pirates.

The term “trade hyperobject” became our mantra—a wormhole into logistics that we could find no way out of. The more we researched about global trade, the more it seemed that the idea of nations was quaintly obsolete. One would fare better to reconsider provenance labeling on products to say MADE IN CHEAP or MADE IN EXPENSIVE.

As part of this exploration, we created souvenir postcards from these nations.