The Two Powers of Ten

December 2014, pencil on paper, 30 x 40 cm, Olafur Eliasson: Contact, Flammarion, 2014 ; Scale in Literature and Culture - Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Illustration of the article of Bruno Latour "l'anti-zoom".

Unfortunately “common sense,” here as elsewhere, is a poor guide. For neither the schema of space, nor that of time, appear continuous: levels of reality do not nestle one within the other like Russian dolls. It cannot be said that the small or the short lie within the large or the long, in the sense that the largest or the longest contain them but with just “fewer details.” This metaphor emerges from the optics of photography, from the zoom created by the use of a lens aptly called “telescopic.” In fact, one might almost posit a rule: good artists do not believe in zoom effects.

Anti-Zoom, Bruno Latour, 2014.