Landscapes of Global Capital
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WorldCom03-00Mixing low angle shots with tracking shots, the camera follows an unidentified WORLDCOM worker as he unobtrusively rides his scooter along ramps and past fellow workers to his office space. Another worker sits perched atop a bookshelf with her laptop; two others informally lounge at a table drinking coffee (or herbal tea). No suits in this office; these are grown-up Gap kids. They are comfortable with each other and their communal office space. These are not people hung up on appearances - individuation takes the form of the unconventional. And these unconventional moments can define the landscape of this new workplace because there is a total absence of immediate authority in these spaces.

Scooter-man is a free thinker. His generation prefers the informal and the casual. Even the art work on the wall, a series of three successive shots of scooter man entering and leaving the frame, signifies the playfulness, informality, and creative thinking that permeates these work spaces. The replication of the image into its own repetition offers a marker of what a postmodern business aesthetic looks like. Iconically, the scooter signifies the antithesis of the cubicle - while the cube farm represents the bondage and restriction of work, the scooter has come to stand for the freedom of digital work.

Call them generation d
The generation that was born digital
And raised on the net
Speaking a language of zeros and ones
Now they're at WORLDCOM
Developing web centers, the wireless internet
And for them it's a joyride
Want to feel comfortable with new technologies?
Work with people who are comfortable
WorldCom04-00 WorldCom04-00
WorldCom04-00 WorldCom04-00
WorldCom02-00In another ad we encounter Ginny Gettemeier. Ginny doesn't speak. She simply faces the camera and looks confident, intelligent, thoughtful. Sometimes panning, sometimes tilting, always arriving on Ginny's face the camera work is about portraiture. Often the shots are close-ups of her eyes. Ginny's facework expresses self-assuredness.
She possesses that knowing look--
She displays a look that Roland Barthes (1981) wrote about in Camera Lucida -- to be judged intelligent without speaking. The knowing look is freed from structure; it is a reflection of the soul. Here the voice-over is replaced by copy synchronized to Ginny's expressions. There are just enough technical catch phrases on screen: dsl, vpn, wireless, to suggest that Ginny can take care of your corporate computing needs. Despite her relative youth Ginny is identified as a Communications Guru at WorldCom. Corresponding to her technical knowledge are social traits and concerns -- we learn that she likes speed, "travels in fast company," "hates being tied down," and "values privacy."

New Economic Formations
Social Relations of Production
Information Economy

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© Copyright 1998-2003
Robert Goldman, Stephen Papson, Noah Kersey