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Explore the Tiny, Post-Apocalyptic Architecture of Nix and Gerber

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Tiny visions of our world after people

What would happen to a city’s spaces after all its inhabitants are gone? Such is the inspiration for artist duo Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber, creators of more than two-dozen miniature dioramas depicting the abandoned interiors of a post-apocalyptic city.

Nix began the series in 1999, as a way to explore "the way that buildings age and crumble and nature takes back some of the spaces."

Nix sketches out the main concept and larger structures of each model, and Gerber fleshes it out by hand-making miniature props. After spending seven to fifteen months constructing a scene, Nix—who identifies as a photographer and not a sculptor—will photograph it and then throw the model away.

They’re created an abandoned church, library, and museum, but the most compelling creations are mundane spaces gone to seed—a Chinese takeout place, a laundromat, a subway car filled with sand. The miniature scenes are both somehow chilling and thrilling, daring the viewer to see the world from a new perspective.

The pair’s final model in the series is a scale replica of their own wildly messy living room/studio: