Issue cover
34: Image economies

No. 34: Image Economies

Managing editors: Paweł Mościcki, Krzysztof Świrek

Martin Parr, Ireland. Dublin. Crazy Prices Supermarket (1986)
(c) Martin Parr / Magnum photos.

This issue was supported by the Film School in Łódź, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanisties, Warsaw, and Ministry of Education and Science in the framework of "Development of Academic Journals," project number RCN/SP/0698/2021/12.

Table of Contents


  1. Image Economies

    ”Image Economies”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    Introduction to the issue on image economies

    keywords: economy; images; reproduction; stock market


  1. Iconomy and Innervation. Contribution to the Genealogy of the Indebted Gaze

    Peter Szendy, ”Iconomy and Innervation”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    The article presents the concept of the iconomy, which the author constructed on the basis of the attentive and systematic reading of Walter Benjamin's writings. The crucial notion taken from his oeuvre is the innevation (Innervation) since it enables to sketch the genealogy of the contemporary "indebted gaze". The essay is one of the first manifestations of ideas that the author developed in his book The Supermarket of the Visible. Toward a General Economy of Images (Fordham University Press, 2019).

    keywords: iconomy; innervation; Walter Benjamin; aesthetics; economy

  2. The Financial Chart: A Tool, Expressive Visual Object and Performative Agent

    Marcin Krawczyk, ”The Financial Chart”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    The article argues that financial charts are something more than just useful tools that allow investors to analyze and detect investment opportunities. Namely, they are also expressive visual objects and performative agents. The former means that they are replete with different meanings and references and, as such, they are not only viewed in an informational manner, but also in other more expressive ways. The latter, in turn, means that financial charts are not so much passive representations of financial exchange as active actors that shape it. Moreover, as performative agents, financial charts not only shape this exchange, but also contribute to the constitution of financial markets themselves; to the very functioning and existence of these markets. All this shows that financial charts and, from a more general perspective, that which is visual, play a very important and complex role in capital markets, much more important and complex than is usually indicated.

    keywords: charts; graphs; financial markets; images; visuality; expressiveness, performativity

  3. Taming Liquidity: The Relation between Materiality and the Value of Artworks on the Example of Polish NFT Auctions

    Feliks Tuszko, Mikołaj Lewicki, ”Taming Liquidity”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    The digital circulation and forms of digital artworks appear to be immaterial. However, our analysis of their materiality discloses new dimensions of affinities between the art market and the financial market. These relations have been recognized in the social sciences in order to understand the transformation of standardized mass markets into markets in which the highest value is attached to the singularity and authenticity of a commodity. Financial markets are undergoing such a transformation. The art market is essentially associated with singularity and authenticity. New digital technologies transform the art market’s working. Despite the hopes and visions of art being liberated from the present curatorship of gallery and museum representatives, curators, critics, collectors, and gallery owners, art’s valuation perpetuated in blockchain infrastructure comes closer to the valuation and appreciation stemming from financial markets. We study three auctions of artworks that took place in Poland and were hailed as the first auctions of NFT tokens associated with art. Thus, we delve into the most common and propagating forms of digitalization based on blockchains that have been associated with art. The focus on materiality enables us to identify new dimensions of this process. We present two understandings of art’s materiality. The first assumes that materiality is a transmitter of meaning. In the second, materiality refers to the interaction with – and usage of – not only physical, but also digital objects. From the first perspective, artworks’ manifestations are anchored in physical objects or singularized data files whose value is assessed by current decision-makers, such as gallery and museum representatives, collectors, curators, art critics, and gallery owners. Physical objects are kept in galleries, museums, and among collectors. Such a vantage point hampers how digital circulation co-creates the valuation of artworks, their originality, and the logics of circulation. From the second perspective, the standards of smart contracts, the means of token collecting, and their pricing are used not only by humans, but are also submitted to data processing.

    keywords: NFTs; art market; valuation of art; materiality

  4. Narrow Visions of the Digital Revolution in Mapping: Situating the Canada Geographic Information System from the Perspective of a Feminist Critique of Science and Technology

    Elżbieta Kowalska, ”Narrow Visions of the Digital Revolution in Mapping”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    In the early 1960s, work began in Canada on what is now one of the most recognizable, , "foundational" computer systems for creating a spatially localized database - containing a variety of social, environmental and economic data - and digital mapping. It was through these maps that economic development decisions were to be made more efficiently and better - the entire program was created with the initiative to introduce improved national resource management practices. The story of this somewhat , "legendary" program has a much broader dimension. This , " improved management" ultimately did not benefit rural development, but it did strengthen the flourishing urban planning, industry and modern concepts related to recreation and leisure. The CGIS allowed for the production of an easily digestible cartographic form that seemed to comprehensively and objectively show the territory being mapped, ultimately supporting the colonial schemes established by white European settlers prior to its development.  English translation forthcoming.

    keywords: geographic information system; maps; colonialism; feminist science studies; Canada

  5. Storms of History. Frank Bowling’s map-paintings and conjectures of the world-economy

    Marta Olesik, ”Storms of History”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    The text is devoted to the economy of abstract map-paintings created by Frank Bowling in the years 1968-1972. Map-paintings are composed of large swaths of colour which are being extended in a space thought by Bowling as a transatlantic space of capital flow and, simultaneously, as expressive of the personal experience of the painter involved in these flows. Global experience requires a two-fold understanding here: it is a shared fate of the black transatlantic community and its abstract cause, that is the decoded flows (Deleuze and Guattari) of the global market. In his map-paintings, Bowling works through these two meanings which remain in the state of permanent conflict. The text concentrates on the economy of history written through Bowling’s distribution of paint, the economy of the global and intimate histories of capitalism and their expression in the visual medium of colour. English translation forthcoming.

    keywords: contemporary painting; history of capitalism; black studies; Frank Bowling


  1. Iconomy of the Protests of the Occupy Movement in 2011–2012 in the Context of the Strategy of Détournement

    Emilia Jeziorowska, ”Iconomy of the Protests”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    The article’s main goal is to present relations between Occupy Museums and institutions of culture that were criticized by the movement during 2011-2012 – i.e. Museum of Modern Art in New York and Tate Modern in London, in the context of taking over the ideological and artistic achievements of the Occupy during Berlin Biennale and Documenta 13 in 2012 or adding the set of posters related to Occupy Wall Street to the collection of MoMA, as well as the perception of the role of art and contemporary artists in view of the participants of the Occupy movement, based on the example of Damien Hirst's criticism, contrasted with good reception of the installation attributed to Banksy, installed in the London protest camp.

    keywords: protest art; détournement; spectacle; Occupy; Berlin Biennale; Documenta 13; Museum of Modern Art

  2. Losing vision? Surveillance capitalism, inflation of digital images and economy of seeing

    Jerzy Stachowicz, ”Losing vision?”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    This paper focuses on the function and place of digital images in what Shoshana Zuboff termed surveillance capitalism. Author pays particular attention to digital images as data and the concept of digital image inflation. The progressive overconsumption and overproduction of images can be described as inflation understood in three ways: first, as a great distension, the spreading of digital images online that cannot be contained; second, as a digital network disease that leads to disastrous consequences; and third, inflation as a depreciation of the value of images we look at and exchange. I also discuss the subject of images in the context of immaterial labor.

    keywords: digital images; surveillance capitalism; inflation; data; dataism; economy

  3. Photo hoarding, or how images we don't actually see transform the world

    Maciej Frąckowiak, ”Photo hoarding”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    Photography is now no longer just about marvelling at the world, remembering the ones that have passed away, or playing with what the human eye sees, but also about intensifying experiences or gathering communities around brands. Images as representations give way– as described by Drozdowski and Krajewski – to photographs as things that trigger not knowledge or consciousness but behavior. However, even when we look at photographs as things, we tend to focus on those in our hands, in front of our eyes, on our desks or clung to the dashboard. I would like to do otherwise in this text to address the process of accumulating photographs we do not look at every day. I will first propose a specific understanding of what it means to accumulate photographs to achieve this goal. In the following part (based on cases identified thanks to netnography), I will present selected trends behind the cultural articulation and systemic impact of the accumulation of photographs.

    keywords: photography; image hoarding; netnography; datafication; capitalism

  4. Save the President. Reperforming the archive

    Izabela Zawadzka, ”Save the President”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    The article is an analysis of the Public Movement group's performance 86th Anniversary of the Assassination of President Gabriel Narutowicz by painter Eligiusz Niewiadomski realized in 2008 at the Zachęta Gallery. The author describes how the artistic action recreates the energy and affects of an event far removed in time, while making a significant shift in emphasis by the artists and consciously abandoning full reenactment. The performance, based on the archive, refers to current socio-political events. Using Ariela Aïsha Azoulay's concept of potential history and Walter Benjamin's history-dream, the author points to a specific construction of the duality of time (historical and present), which accumulates in the bodies of individual performance participants.

    keywords: reperformance; archive; Public Movement; Gabriel Narutowicz


  1. Inequality

    Agata Bogacka, ”Inequality”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    Presentation of Agata Bogacka's project Inequality.

  2. The Economy of (In)Equality

    Paweł Mościcki, ”The Economy of (In)Equality”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    A commentary on the series of paintings Inequality by Agata Bogacka situating her work in the context of contemporary discussions about the relationship between economy and visuality.

    keywords: iconomy; abstract painting; capitalism; Agata Bogacka; contemporary art


  1. Modern Folk as a Stake in the Game

    Tomasz Rawski, ”Modern Folklore as a Stake in the Game”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    The review of the book by Ewa Klekot, Problems with Folk Art (Fundacja terytoria książki, Gdańsk 2021).

    keywords: folk art; modernity; intelligentsia; folk; social classes

  2. Antipolitical Strategies of Art Institutions. On The Postsocialist Contemporary. The Institutionalization of Artistic Practice in Eastern Europe after 1989 by Octavian Esanu

    Karolina Łabowicz-Dymanus, ”Antipolitical Strategies of Art Institutions”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    The review of the book by Octavian Esanu, The Postsocialist Contemporary. The Institutionalization of Artistic Practice in Eastern Europe after 1989 (Manchester University Press, Manchester 2021).

    keywords: contemporary art; Soros Centers for Contemporary Art; politics of art; institutional critic;

  3. In Praise of Surogacy

    Matylda Szewczyk, ”In Praise of Surogacy”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 34 (2022),

    The review of the book by Sophie Lewis, Abolish the Family. A Manifesto for Care and Liberation (Verso, London–New York 2022).

    keywords: care work; social critic; feminism; surogacy; family