"Dajcie mi rewolwer, a porusze wszystkie budynki" Architektura z punktu widzenia Teorii Aktora-Sieci (ANT)

Translated title of the contribution: "Give me a gun and i will make all buildings move": An ANT's view of architecture

Bruno Latour, Albena Yaneva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our building problem is just the opposite of Etienne Jules Marey's famous inquiry into the physiology of movement. Through the invention of his "photographic gun," he wanted to arrest the flight of a gull so as to be able to see in a fixed format every single successive freeze-frame of a continuous flow of flight, the mechanism of which had eluded all observers until his invention. What we need is the reverse: the problem with buildings is that they look desperately static. It seems almost impossible to grasp them as movement, as flight, as a series of transformations. Everybody knows-and especially architects, of course-that a building is not a static object but a moving project, and that even once it is has been built, it ages, it is transformed by its users, modified by all of what happens inside and outside, and that it will pass or be renovated, adulterated and transformed beyond recognition. We know this, but the problem is that we have no equivalent of Marey's photographic gun: when we picture a building, it is always as a fixed, stolid structure that is there in four colors in the glossy magazines that customers flip through in architects' waiting rooms. If Marey was so frustrated not to be able to picture in a successive series of freeze-frames the flight of a gull, how irritating it is for us not to be able to picture, as one continuous movement, the project flow that makes up a building. Marey had the visual input of his eyes and was able to establish the physiology of flight only after he invented an artificial device (the photographic gun); we too need an artificial device (a theory in this case) in order to be able to transform the static view of a building into one among many successive freeze-frames that could at last document the continuous flow that a building always is.

Translated title of the contribution"Give me a gun and i will make all buildings move": An ANT's view of architecture
Original languagePolish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • ANT
  • Architecture
  • Architektura
  • Budynek
  • Building
  • Movement
  • Project
  • Projekt
  • Ruch


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