Monday, March 23, 2009

The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects

This is a neat find, if only for the inventive and sort of whimsical classification/naming system they've created. The goal of the Collier Classification project is to make people more aware of the insignificant things around them that they might ignore as they go about their day to day lives: basically, it's a sort of art project about all things small. On to the naming!

Items in the Collier collection are given three names, each having it's own set of descriptors. An items first name is made up of two elements, one describing it's status, and the other describing it's elements. For example, a nelifrag is a small object that was never alive (neli) and a fragment of a larger whole (frag), like a pebble or a bit of chipped glass. An onliwhol, on the other hand, would be something that is complete unto itself and once living, like a dried seed. An object's second name is also made up of two descriptors: point of origin, and function. So a shosolstabscrach would be something that was found in a shoe that's apparent function was to stab, scratch, or poke things (not the best combination).

Finally, the third name of a Collier object is made up of four (!!!) descriptors: general color, general shape, consistency or surface texture, and visual comparison. So to put it all together, a Nelifrag Petfurnouse Grenirresquisunlik would be a never living fragment, found in pet fur with no apparent purpose, that was also green, irregular, squishy, and comparable to nothing but itself. Obviously!

The collection database is organized alphabetically by name, and includes a picture of the small object in question, its name, and its size. No other metadata is given, so I suppose you're supposed to pick up the naming conventions to really pick up additional information about the object. Altogether, the site seems to be an interesting artistic dissection of how and why we name and classify things, which is why I thought it would be fun to share.

No comments:

Post a Comment