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Tiny galleries, tiny gardens, and tiny food: finding (literally) small joys on Twitter

tiny gallery @thetinygallery

Nestled among the jokes, the takes, and the joke-takes on my Twitter feed is at least one small joy. It is literally small: @thetinygallery, a bot account that spits out an image of an imaginary art gallery a few times a day. Sometimes the galleries are empty, and sometimes there are couples or a dancing lady inside, but each one contains two tiny pieces of art.

The account was created by Emma Winston, a musician and artist based in London. She was inspired by the @tiny_star_field and @tiny_seas, two similar tiny-scene bots that tweet nightscapes and ocean-themed emoji, respectively. Winston expanded on the idea by creating other tiny universe bots like @tiny_forests, @tiny_cityscapes, @tiny_gardens, and @bon_appetiny (tiny food).

These accounts are appealing because tiny things are inherently cute, but also because they present scenes that are recognizable, but not realistic. Each account presents an idea of a real thing, but the images wouldn’t quite work in another context. They lack the perspective and detail to look like places you could travel to — you can’t experience them in any other way.

And there’s something reassuring about the idea that these galleries, and forests and cities will for the most part be experienced the same way by anyone who sees them.