A manifesto for minimalism


"Everything is perfect from far away"


A distant view is incredibly pure. It is not disturbed by the imperfections and disappointments that reveal themselves upon closer inspection. It preserves the warmth and excitement of an initial view. It utilizes a child's innocent and untainted perspective.

The city lights are a great example. One remarks at how beautiful they are when taken together, at once. One does not fixate upon or worry about how each diode performs, and one can overlook a few that falter. This generalized perception forgives the mistakes of individuals and allows collective unity to prevail.

A skyscraper seen by close inspection fails to inspire. Viewed from a wider angle, it offers a pleasing overall portrait. And when contextualized against and in concert with a skyline, it plays its role superbly.

Minimalism relies on a view of the Universe as integrated and collective. What matters is how systems interact, more than each particular component of itself. It rejects the individualism that leads to a pedantic focus on details. Whereas a skyscraper can assert itself as exceptional, only when taken from a mile away and in the company of peers can it be fully understood and appreciated.

In visual terms, minimalism blurs the subject. It smoothes out differences and averages out extremes. A blurred photo is quintessentially minimal because it obscures the details in favor of a general impression.