Landscapes of Global Capital
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In SAP's ad campaign, its "first virtual place on the internet" is depicted accordingly as a space.

This image of the "city of E" is the SAP infrastructure that organizes markets. Markets remain invisible here except in their form as flows of data across the internal scape of the virtual cityplace of E. This is space. Or perhaps, it's the place that permits the existence of that space?

In fact, it is the visually holographic character of the "city of E" that permits it to sit above the abstracted imagery of a global system. It is SAP's imaginary built space that permits us at long last to unify the world by making it a market. "The world is her market." Her choices are endless. Markets open up choice, deliver competitive pricing, and connect people together in perfect, consensual communication, and thus links buyers and sellers. Markets are conducted in cyberspace.

The technotopian vision is premised on rationality and efficiency but the consequences of these principles when applied to human organization often results in alienated activity and experience. Max Weber's metaphor of an iron cage darkly suggested what Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno (1972) sought to convey in "The Dialectic of Enlightenment," that rationalization does not necessarily result in human autonomy and empowerment but its very opposite.

Curiously, despite all its Enlightenment rhetoric about how science makes possible progress and well-being, the SAP ad has a dark and murky feel. Both Africa as well as the holographic space that constitutes the city of E are darkly represented. Even the bridge scenes that connect the first world of scientific technology with the third world of African poverty are darkly suggestive of a medieval-like space, in spite of the aura high-tech imagery. Is there a subtext to this darkness?

Dark Africa : geographical place
Dark city of E : cyberspace

Abstraction & Deterritorialization
Cultural Geography
The Architecture of Capital

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Robert Goldman, Stephen Papson, Noah Kersey