Solitude and smallness play an important role for Speck, aka Nikita Bondarev. He is from the town of Berdsk - and therefore within driving distance of Novosibirsk. The town's history deserves a brief contextual sketch, beginning during the reign of Peter the Great. At that time Berdsk's first settlers had moved enormous distances in order to find religious and social freedom. Low-scale enterprise would endure here for over a hundred years, until better roads and gold mining attracted a serious influx of industry and investment. For today's elderly residents, however, a more ominous tradition remains fresh in the memory, as Berdsk was the center of a Soviet chemical weapons facility. Minimalism offers an alternative.