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The cinematic mode of production: towards a political economy of the postmodern

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Cinema marks a profound shift in the relation between image and text - indeed it is the watershed of the subjugation of language by image. Cinema as an innovative shift in both industrial capitalism and cultural practice marks, therefore, the restructuring of language function in accord with the changing protocols of techno-capitalism. The 'talking cure', otherwise known as psychoanalysis, is itself a symptom of cinema. As a precursor for TV and computing and Internet, cinema transacts value transfer across the image utilising a production process that can be grasped as founded under the rubric of what I call 'the attention theory of value'. The deterritorialised factory that is the contemporary image, is an essential component of globalisation, neo-imperialism, and militarisation, organising, as it were, the consent (ignorance of) and indeed desire for these latter processes. Thus 'cinema', as a paradigm for image-mediated social production, implies a cultural turn for political economics. It also implies that it is the interstitial, informal activities that transpire across the entire surface of the socius as well as in the vicissitudes of the psyche and experience that are the new (untheorised) production sites for global capital - and therefore among the significant sites for the waging of the next revolution.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2003

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