Markets abound in media—but a media theory of markets is still emerging. Anthropology offers media archaeologies of markets, and the sociology of markets and finance unravels how contemporary financial markets have witnessed a media technological arms race. Building on such work, this volume brings together key thinkers of economic studies with German media theory, describes the central role of the media specificity of markets in new detail and inflects them in three distinct ways. Nik-Khah and Mirowski show how the denigration of human cognition and the concomitant faith in computation prevalent in contemporary market-design practices rely on neoliberal conceptions of information in markets. Schröter confronts the asymmetries and abstractions that characterize money as a medium and explores the absence of money in media. Beverungen situates these inflections and gathers further elements for a politically and historically attuned media theory of markets concerned with contemporary phenomena such as high-frequency trading and cryptocurrencies.
“One of the great deficiencies of media theory has been an adequate account of markets. As new technologies evolve to secure the most recent gains in wealth accumulation, this collection shows what is at stake in overlooking or accepting the very first principles of capitalism.”
— Melissa Gregg, Research Director at Intel
“The technological media and infrastructures of markets and finance capitalism should be of utmost concern to cultural theory. In bringing together the critical history of economic thought and the media theory of money and markets, this book is a compelling and timely intervention.“
— Joseph Vogl, Humboldt University, Berlin / Princeton University