• Bruno Latour
Part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies book series (GSLS)


This chapter considers the significance of Olafur Eliasson’s art exhibition at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris in 2014–15 for rethinking conventional ideas of scale. Latour argues that Eliasson’s machines challenge a view of scale as dimensions nestled within one another like Russian matryoshka dolls and instead promote a way of thinking about different scales in terms of connectivity rather than hierarchy. The hierarchical view of scale is consistent with zoom effects, which originated historically in a nationalist era, were popularized visually in the twentieth century by the film Powers of Ten, and are gradually being eroded in a globalized, Anthropocene age. Latour suggests that “good artists do not believe in zoom effects” despite their continuing importance in contemporary cultural forms such as Google maps.


Zoom Effect Olafur Eliasson Contemporary Cultural Forms connectivityConnectivity Common senseCommon Sense 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Latour
    • 1
  1. 1.Sciences PoParisFrance

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