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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2023

The view: propertizing the visibility of distance

Sarah Marusek
  • Fonction : Auteur


The panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, as claimed by Mark Zuckerberg on the Hawaiian Island of Kaua‘i through the building of a wall, has become a site of confrontation between the local and the private. As the contemporary understanding of property increasingly extends outwards, the view of scenic vistas in the distance represents disputed claims to owning these spaces of visibility. As pure space, the distance that facilitates the view involves the contested economization of visibility as a propertized space in which private land ownership and public accessibility each seek the reappropriation of the vista. However, the view, as a nomospheric commodity and revealing vantage point of societal positionality, may ultimately determine the public quality of community through public engagement. It is this cultural contestation over space that can be read as a source of legal tension involving constructions of place, regulated ownership, and public access to the natural environment.


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Dates et versions

hal-04485285 , version 1 (01-03-2024)



Sarah Marusek, Anne Wagner. The view: propertizing the visibility of distance. Wagner, Anne; Marusek, Sarah. Research Handbook on Legal Semiotics, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp.184-192, 2023, 9781802207262. ⟨10.4337/9781802207262.00022⟩. ⟨hal-04485285⟩
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