To move a mountain: an old proverb considers this an impossible feat. Only when endowed with supernatural, spiritual qualities can a human accomplish the task of such magnitude. Lima, Peru, 2002: the Belgian Mexican artist Francis Alÿs realizes one of his now most famous projects, When Faith Moves Mountains. Five hundred local volunteers armed with shovels form a single line that ascends an enormous sand dune on the outskirts of the city: their aim is to move the dune, if only by an inch. “Maximum effort, minimum result,” the artist insists.1 Looking at the dune the day after the event, no one can tell if it has changed. It...

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