The Investment-Image of Contemporary Art

Rosamond, Emily. 2018. 'The Investment-Image of Contemporary Art'. In: Post-Capitalist Photography Now!. The Photographers' Gallery, London, United Kingdom 24 November 2018. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

In an age of ‘likes’, posts and shares, there is an attention economy of online images. This condition demands a theory of the online image that departs from how images circulate – that begins from what images perform, affirm, and invest in by their very acts of circulation, rather than from what they represent. Drawing from Hito Steyerl’s writing on the poor image, Paul Frosh’s writings on selfies as kinesthetic sociability, and Michel Feher’s account of investment and self-esteem’s central importance to neoliberal finance and neoliberal subjects, I sketch a theory of the investment-image of contemporary art: one that begins from the acts of posting, liking, and sharing, and instantiates a cultural logic of volatility. I think from how the contemporary photographic image from the perspective of its being liked and shared: how it produces kinesthetic shudders of likeness – and “like”-ness – through online platforms: recombinant structures of affinity and platitude; neural networks of simile and similarity, likeness and affiliation.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)


Online images, Image circulation, Investment-image of contemporary art, Neoliberalism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


24 November 2018Completed

Event Location:

The Photographers' Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Date range:

24 November 2018

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

28 Nov 2018 09:17

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:00


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