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Bringing the Market to Life: Screen Aesthetics and the Epistemic Consumption Object
College of Business Administration Faculty Publications
  • Detlev Zwick
  • Nikhilesh Dholakia, University of Rhode Island
Document Type
Date of Original Version
This article argues that the new ‘visuality’ (Schroeder, 2002) of the Internet transforms the stock market into an epistemic consumption object. The aesthetics of the screen turn the market into an interactive and response-present surface representation. On the computer screen, the market becomes an object of constant movement and variation, changing direction and altering appearance at any time. Following Knorr Cetina (1997, 2002b) we argue that the visual logic of the screen ‘opens up’ the market ontologically. The ontological liquidity of the market-on-screen simulates the indefiniteness of other life forms. We suggest that the continuing fascination with online investing is a function of the reflexive looping of the investor, who aspires to discern what the market is lacking, through the market-on-screen that continuously signals to the investor what it still lacks. Implications for existing theories on relationships and involvement are discussed.
Citation Information

Zwick, Detlev, and Nikhilesh Dholakia. "Bringing the Market to Life: Screen Aesthetics and the Epistemic Consumption Object." Marketing Theory, vol. 6, no. 1 (March 2006): 41-62.

DOI: 10.1177/1470593106061262