Landscapes of Global Capital
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When we put the religious connotations of the music with the narrative about the utopian moment of a global market economy unified by the NASDAQ stock market there arises a quasi-theological moment in which religious impulses are redirected or recast in terms of The Market . The visual and aural signification is suggestive of nothing less than the Second Coming.

"Divine omnipotence means the capacity to define what is real. It is the power to make something out of nothing and nothing out of something. The willed-but-not-yet-achieved omnipotence of The Market means that there is no conceivable limit to its inexorable ability to convert creation into commodities." (Harvey Cox, 1999)

But it soon becomes evident that the reference to the moving hand of God is not to 'The Market' but rather to "This Technology." What does "this technology" refer to? The answer is suggested visually. The narrator's naming of Technology corresponds precisely to a perceptual explosion coming out of a female human Eye. This is hardly the first time the human eye has been used as a visual device, so it probably already holds some interpretive recognition.

NASDAQ05-01 NASDAQ05-01
NASDAQ05-01 NASDAQ05-01

The data flows and the explosion of perception function semiotically as signifiers aimed at signifying "Technology." The ad prophecies that Digital Technology will rationalize Trade and The Market -- these will come to work with "an ease and speed and economy that can only be imagined today." Technology is depicted as the magic elixir - the grease that makes the gears of capitalism ever more fluid in their movements.

As the ad progresses with its hypermodern imagery of a digital - wired - society and economy, NASDAQ seems to want to identify itself with a digital grid that stands for potent, yet transparent technologies that are paving the way to a promised land.

In this vision, the world is no longer necessarily held together by shared cultures, nor merely by political treaties amongst nations, nor for that matter, even the trade of commodities like coffee or cotton or steel or plastic. Nope, it is held together by the Invisible Hand of the Market -- and that Invisible Hand now exists at the heart of the NASDAQ digital stock market where trade continuously takes place in the digital exchanges of commodity futures.


New Economic Formations
Commodification
Social Relations of Production
Information Economy

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Robert Goldman, Stephen Papson, Noah Kersey