The optical devices and unexpected courses of events in Olafur Eliasson’s exhibition disturb our perceptions and force us to address the question of scale in space and time in an entirely new manner.
For in fact neither the schema of space nor that of time appears continuous: levels of reality do not nestle one within the other like Russian dolls. It cannot be said that the small or the short lies within the large or the long, in the sense that the largest or the longest contain them but with just “fewer details.” When one shifts from a map on a scale of 1 cm. to 1 km. to one on 1 cm. to 10 km. the latter does not contain the same information, if less exact, as the former: it contains other information that might (or might not) coincide with what appears in the former.
This metaphor emerges from the optics of photography, from the zoom created by the use of a lens called—it’s obvious why—”telescopic.” In fact, one might almost posit a rule: good artists do not believe in zoom effects.
Bruno Latour, Anti-Zoom, excerpt from Contact catalogue