Unique is not always one.
A Cabinet of Curiosities was a collection in Renaissance Europe of objects that had yet to be fitted into a category. Without more than one object of the same type there wasn’t a group but together they were a category.
More recently, Mr Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology, by Lawrence Weschler, shows exhibits of things so unique in David Wilson’s Museum of Jurassic Technology that it makes you wonder if they are real.
You can still make your own cabinet of curiosities. Keri Smith will help you create your own “Portable Life Museum”. Her book How to Be an Explorer of the World, increases our ability to notice the uniqueness of everything through exercises from easy to grasp such as collect multiples of one thing such as shells to a bit more daring such as make tracings of stains and blotches that you find to the more public such as making instant sculpture with whatever you have around you.
I’ve made collections of unique objects for some time including collections of sculptural seeds, collections of leaves, and collections of seemingly random objects. This cabinet of curiosities is of small objects: a broken doll head, a paper doll shoe, a eucalyptus seed, a matchbox, 3 thimbles, a silver perfume container, 2 shells, a clock, a stone and orange thread. A portable life museum.
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