It is a perfect, breezy summer afternoon. As we get out of the car I see the vibrant colors of the installation shimmering in the late afternoon sun. I then hear the sounds of the crowd and my excitement/curiosity grows for we’re finally about to visit the peculiar installation we’ve been waiting for some time. As we get ready to step onto the installation we are notified of options for exploring the installation which provide different journeys through this unique space. “Wow!” I think to myself, “There’s so much to see in such a small space!”
She’s already gone. Children are great that way. They follow their instincts and let the colors lead them wherever they may go. She’s already immersed herself in a few square inches of space she found of interest. Fascinated by the images, she wants to learn more. So, we dig into our guide to find information. “Ah ha! It seems they’re a street art group from Tristan da Cunha. Here, in the Dymaxion map section of the guide, it mentions that Tristan da Cunha is one of the most remote countries in the entire world located in the South Atlantic Ocean. The guide also mentions that we can find it on the Dymaxion map…” We then notice the map, a shade-providing, unusual “ceiling meets map” made of mirrors. The planet is not portrayed the same way that we usually perceive maps of our planet Earth. So, I consult our guide again. According to the guide, the Dymaxion map of the world is intended to depict our continents as one contiguous land mass, as a gigantic village! So, I start looking for Tristan da Cunha and I see one small star shining on a small island caught in the South Atlantic between South Africa and Argentina. “There it is!” The small star is indicative of the submission that was received from there. Before I could take a step back to grasp the beauty of the map in its entirety she was already fully aware and in awe. “Mommy! Look! This ceiling has thousands and thousands of shiny little stars. Oh! And look! I can point to a spot on the map and without having to lift my finger, I can trace all the continents!” my lil’ girl yells exuberantly. So, then I had to. I had to look and see if there was one star dedicated to our submission. I glanced over to the United States and felt a rush of happiness as I stared at the tiny little glimmering stars. “There must be thousands of them…” I thought to myself.
I felt that just this ceiling with its Dymaxion map of the world, and its shiny little stars, and its mirrors reflecting the ground and the submissions can be enough to keep me occupied for half a day, but then again, she pulled me away to point out her new discoveries: the hanging rails, the raised walk paths, the reflections, the curved walls…
On one corner sits a set of rails with kids hanging upside down from them, pointing to the images of the submissions underneath them. “What a cool and distorted way to view things…” I thought to myself. Winding clear walk paths hovered slightly above the ground allowing one to view the submissions underneath while offering unique paths of exploration. The mirrored ceiling with its many sparkling stars and its Dymaxion map of the world reflecting the submissions.
I took a step back to take in one of the most awe-inspiring collections of creativity, individuality, and diversity in its entirety and one noun came to mind: frenzy! I couldn’t help but to notice the difference between my “taking it all in” versus my little girl’s. And, all of a sudden, I truly and whole-heartedly arrived at one of the points of the exhibition: my child’s world, her familiarity of the array of social media interconnections and her comfort with navigating an “access to an incredible amount of information” is already so much more advanced than mine. To her there was a much more natural way of maneuvering through the space. And, how wonderful that she gets to explore one of the emblematic experiences of her generation within this installation, where boundaries have been blurred, and ideas, messages, and creativity from all around the world and all walks of life have come together to celebrate us. As I sit back in the car ready to leave, I take another glance at the guide and notice an inscription along its edge, which reads: “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.” I start the car and a favorite John Lennon song comes on the radio. I couldn’t imagine a better endnote for experiencing the Square Inches of Love installation. I say out loud while driving away; “We should definitely come back while the installation is in our town!”
Imagine all the people sharing all the world
You may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one…