‘Scale’ is a nest of complications: it is a highly contested term in a range of disciplines, from geography to ecology, from philosophy to science and technology studies. The heart of the problem is the dispute over its ontological status and topological properties. ‘Scale’ is often assumed to be an ordered totality that one can navigate by zooming in and out, as in Powers of Ten and Google Earth. Such modes of visualization not only give form to a planetary consciousness, but also enable surveillance and warfare in what the author calls ‘the age of the world zoom’. Whereas some geographers have called for the rejection of scalar thinking altogether, he demonstrates how object-oriented ontology (OOO) and actor-network theory (ANT) can offer new insights into conceptualizing the interrelations of entities without falling into the traditional pitfalls of ‘scale’. These approaches lay the groundwork for ‘ecology without scale’, or thinking about interconnectedness beyond scalar notions.
Powers of Ten
- Re-Animating Space
- Vanishing Point: Spatial Composition and the Virtual Camera
- Disney’s Alice Comedies: A Life of Illusion and the Illusion of Life
- Mamoru Oshii’s Production of Multi-layered Space in 2D Anime
- Tilt-Shift Flânerie: Miniature View, Globalscape
- Ecology without Scale: Unthinking the World Zoom