Representing Global Capital
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The singular, abstracted eye is a recurring signifier in the commercials we have examined. Cropped from the face, the decontexualized eye lacks the usual expressivity connoted by our eyes. To show emotion the eye must be connected, even if only partially, to a human face. The eye in these commercials is an abstraction that is disconnected from both the physical body and the object it sees.

The eye in these commercials takes two forms: the visionary eye and the data eye. The upward angled eye suggests vision and possibility. Associated not with space but time this eye peers forward into infinity. There is no specific object of vision. It simply peers off into some future moment in which technology has resulted in a smoothly functioning organization and/or future riches. It is the eye of capital and technology that sees only possibility and never destruction. The visionary eye also suggests a religious presence as it looks up into the heavens. But here the heavens are the future world created by capital and technology joined to form techno-capitalism.

The data eye is both a portal and a mirror. Its surface etched with data fragments, the data eye is linked to the transmission of data flows. Often the eye seems to glow as light radiates off it and appears to explode outwards, transforming a data stream into a burst of light. Whether it is a glass lens or the eye itself serving as the reflecting mechanism, both screens absorb and reflect data.

These eyes meld technology and capital, vision and knowledge, velocity and possibility. Most importantly, the eye brands the corporation with these signifieds. While the eyes of GTE, Dow, and US Robotics see our futures , the accelerated data steams that flow into the eyes of UUNet, Computer Associates, and the Nasdaq celebrate simultaneity and velocity.

Sign Formulas & Branding

Signifying Clusters

Structural Frames

Religion signifiers < Previous

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