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Statistical Panic

Statistical Panic he dominant and unsettling characteristic of the global financial market of late capitalism, as Fredric Jameson points out in his essay “Culture and Finance Capitalism,” is that it is not linked to the object world and thus does not have any material—real—referent. Globally the generation of wealth is no longer connected to production in a local or even a national economy; it is literally deterritorialized. Money no longer changes hands; instead financial pluses and minuses flow in intangible digital streams around the world. And indeed, as it was reported in Forbes in August 1999, the figure for global trade currencies is $1.5 trillion daily (Androshcik). With free-floating capital of such mind-boggling proportions, immateriality is virtually everywhere. What in contemporary culture can be said to represent this articulation of capital at the end of the century and the turn of the millennium? What is the cultural logic of late capitalism? For Jameson the quintessential expression of postmodern culture, or what he has elsewhere called the geopolitical aesthetic, is the image fragment. The postmodern image fragment, he argues, differs radically from the image fragment of modernism: whereas the surrealist image fragment expresses the evacud–i–f–f–e–r–e–n–c–e–s: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies Duke University Press

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1999 by Brown University and differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies
ISSN
1040-7391
eISSN
1527-1986
DOI
10.1215/10407391-11-2-177
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

he dominant and unsettling characteristic of the global financial market of late capitalism, as Fredric Jameson points out in his essay “Culture and Finance Capitalism,” is that it is not linked to the object world and thus does not have any material—real—referent. Globally the generation of wealth is no longer connected to production in a local or even a national economy; it is literally deterritorialized. Money no longer changes hands; instead financial pluses and minuses flow in intangible digital streams around the world. And indeed, as it was reported in Forbes in August 1999, the figure for global trade currencies is $1.5 trillion daily (Androshcik). With free-floating capital of such mind-boggling proportions, immateriality is virtually everywhere. What in contemporary culture can be said to represent this articulation of capital at the end of the century and the turn of the millennium? What is the cultural logic of late capitalism? For Jameson the quintessential expression of postmodern culture, or what he has elsewhere called the geopolitical aesthetic, is the image fragment. The postmodern image fragment, he argues, differs radically from the image fragment of modernism: whereas the surrealist image fragment expresses the evacud–i–f–f–e–r–e–n–c–e–s: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies

Journal

differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 1999

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