“All Data is Credit Data”: Reputation, Regulation and Character in the Entrepreneurial Imaginary

Rosamond, Emily. 2016. “All Data is Credit Data”: Reputation, Regulation and Character in the Entrepreneurial Imaginary. Paragrana, 25(2), pp. 112-124. ISSN 0938-0116 [Article]

All_Data_is_Credit_Data_Reputation_Regu(1).pdf - Published Version

Download (222kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This essay examines new means of measuring creditworthiness, reputation and character online and briefly considers the implications for contemporary art. New technologies for determining creditworthiness abound; for instance, companies in the so-called fintech (financial technology) industry, provide new methods for granting credit to the underbanked, using big data analytics and psychometric testing. Similarly, Rachel Botsman and others envision a future in which reputation becomes a kind of currency, following its bearers from platform to platform. Together, the world of consciously projected reputation-images online and the fintech industry's inconspicuous measurement of creditworthiness form a conscious/ unconscious couplet of character measurement apparatuses. Character, in these data analytic worlds, acts as a lived fiction, a representation of futurity online that determines in advance one's level of access to markets and social spheres. How might these emerging conditions change the ways in which artworks understand – and perhaps resist – the demand to be " good " characters online? Some possible artistic responses to this world of character measurement include questioning the correlative logics of measurement itself and testing the limits of creditworthy character traits, in order to demonstrate that credit must always rely on a set of locally shared assumptions as to what might be considered " desirable " behaviour.

This article develops an imaginative starting point for a longer-term project on online reputation. Considering how to best frame the collision between online reputation’s financial, historical and technical trajectories, it explores the proposition that fintech entrepreneurs are the psychoanalysts of our time – inventing new means to ‘drill down,’ revealing unconscious signs of creditworthiness. What does it mean to refashion the ever-unwieldy psychoanalytic unconscious according to the demand for creditworthiness? Developing means to pose such questions enables counterstrategies for undoing the ever more naturalized expectation that one be creditworthy.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Additional Information:

Publisher full text is used with permission.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


20 October 2016Accepted
30 December 2016Published Online
December 2016Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Oct 2017 09:14

Last Modified:

18 Mar 2021 11:42



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)